Evaluation of the daily iron intake by non-breastfed Egyptian infants and young children.

  • AM El-Arab
  • M Mohammad
  • M El-Sayed
Keywords: Milk, Formula, Anemia, Iron-Fortification, Egypt


Iron deficiency is frequently associated with anaemia. The prevalence of anaemia among Egyptian infants and young children is 25%. Fortification of infant and followup milk-based formulae remains a valuable method for delivering iron to reduce the incidence of iron deficiency anaemia. Percentage of Egyptian non-breastfed children consuming milk or milk products (7-23 months) are 79.1%. No studies have focused on infant and follow-up milk-based formulae that are marketed in Egypt regarding
iron fortification and consumption. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the intake of iron by non-breastfed Egyptian infants and young children. To achieve this goal the infant and follow-up milk based formulae brands and types, low – iron and iron – fortified, that are commercially available on the local market were collected. In addition, the iron concentration was determined in the collected formulae in relation to the label statements to ensure the correct intake. Finally, the actual daily
intake of iron from formulae consumption was estimated in relation to the nutritional requirements. The CRM 1846 and 3126a were used for the precision and accuracy of the method. It was shown that the iron levels in all milk-based formulae were lower than those reported on the labels and ranged between 6.17 -10.98 mg/L. No significant difference was found between the average concentration of iron in lowiron formula brands (8.1±2.3 mg/L) and iron-fortified formula brands (8.6± 2.0
mg/L). The average levels of the iron in the infant formula brands were lower (p<0.05) than follow-up formula brands. Iron- fortified infant brand (0-6 months) met the DRI for iron. However, low-iron brands had iron intake of 5.5, 5.3, 4.7 mg/day in the 4th month, 5th month, and 6th month, respectively, and were below the DRI. The Milk-based formula provided Egyptian infants (7-12 months) with only 30% and
young children (12-23 months) with 40% from their daily iron requirement. Although the purpose of iron fortification was to assist infants and young children in increasing their iron intakes to help reduce iron-deficiency anaemia, the current level of fortification will not ensure that all infants and young children achieve recommended intakes of iron.

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eISSN: 1684-5374
print ISSN: 1684-5358