Iron (II) citrate complex as a food supplement: Synthesis, characterization and complex stability

Academic Article


  • Iron deficiency represents a widespread problem for a large part of the population, especially for women, and has received increasing attention in food/supplement research. The contraindications of the iron supplements commercially available (e.g., imbalances in the levels of other essential nutrients, low bioavailability, etc.) led us to search for a possible alternative. In the present work, a rapid and easy method to synthetize a solid iron (II) citrate complex from iron filings and citric acid was developed to serve, eventually, as a food supplement or additive. In order to state its atomic composition and purity, an assortment of analytical techniques was employed (e.g., combustion analysis, thermogravimetry, X-ray diffractometry, UV/Vis spectrophotometry, etc.). Results demonstrate that the synthesized crystalline solid corresponds to the formula FeC6 H6 O7┬ĚH2 O and, by consequence, contains exclusively iron (II), which is an advantage with respect to existing commercial products, because iron (II) is better absorbed than iron (III) (high bioavailability of iron).
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Nutrients  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Naviglio D; Salvatore MM; Limatola M; Langella C; Faralli S; Ciaravolo M; Andolfi A; Salvatore F; Gallo M
  • Volume

  • 10
  • Issue

  • 11