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Journal of Food and Clinical Nutrition

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Iron and heme iron concentrations in three different pork cuts compared with chicken filet.

Author(s): Lene Meinert* and Kirsten Jensen

Iron has several vital functions in the body. Meat is an important source of iron and especially heme iron, which is generally more efficiently absorbed than non-heme iron. However, there is a lack of data on the heme iron content in different meat cuts, since most databases contain data on the total iron content. Furthermore, the ratio between total iron and heme iron in meat is often based on an approximate value, which varies greatly in the literature. The aim of this study was to provide values for the content of total iron and heme iron in three different pork cuts compared with chicken filet. Total iron content was found to be 0.30 mg/100 g [loin], 0.44 mg/100 g [topside] and 0.84 mg/100 g [shoulder]. Chicken filet had a total iron content of 0.32 mg/100 g. The percentage of heme iron [of total iron] was 57% [loin], 55% [topside], 64% [shoulder] and 35% [chicken filet]. There was no significant difference between the total iron contents in pork loin and chicken filet. However, the heme iron contents in the pork cuts were significantly higher than the heme iron content in the chicken filet.


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