Fortified foods and dietary supplements help consumers obtain the necessary amounts of minerals and vitamins they need. The form in which minerals are supplied is particularly important. Inorganic mineral salts are often less soluble and therefore more challenging for the body to absorb. On the other hand, organic mineral salts are easily absorbed and more bioavailable.
Minerals need protection
The absorption of minerals in the body can be disrupted if the minerals form insoluble compounds with other substances, for example those contained in food. For example, phytic acid, which occurs naturally in legumes or grains, can form insoluble compounds with minerals such as calcium, zinc or magnesium and inhibit the absorption of these minerals in the small intestine. The so-called chelation effect helps to prevent these unwanted reactions.
Chelated mineral salts
Chelation is a process where a chelating agent forms a stable, usually water-soluble complex with a free metal ion, in this case the mineral. The mineral ion forms the centre of the complex and is surrounded by the chelating agent in a cyclic or ring structure. The formed complexes are called chelates. Chelating agents are usually organic compounds. They have two or more points of attachment to the central metal ion (multiple bonded ligand), which makes the chelates more stable than other complexes. Common chelating agents in food and nutrition include organic acids like citric acid, gluconic acid, or tartaric acid, as well as amino acids like glycine or polyphosphates. In dietary supplements, organic acids or amino acids are primarily used.
Jungbunzlauer offers organic mineral salts derived from citric acid and gluconic acid, both known to be effective chelating agents. Mineral citrates and gluconates are chelated minerals that offer high bioavailability and good compatibility. The chelate form protects minerals from forming insoluble salts with other compounds like phytic acid, which would hinder the mineral absorption of minerals in the body.