THE BIGGER PICTURE
Waller and colleagues, at the University of Illinois have developed an affordable, reliable paper-based method to detect iron levels in food products (4). The research, published in the journal of Nutrients, describes a colorimetric paper-based method, which when combined with specialized phone app (also developed at the University of Illinois), can give accurate estimates of iron levels in the various foods tested.
Food-fortification programs in low-income countries have been at the forefront of fighting malnutrition, with iron deficiency a primary target in this battle. Affordable quality control tools to assess the nutritional value of fortified foods, such as the one developed by the Illinois team, could help advance this cause.
Contributed by Prof Samira Lakhal-Littleton, Department of Physiology, Anatomy & GeneticsUniversity of Oxford