This study was conducted to determine the bioavailability of iron amino acid chelate (ferrochel) added to fortify breads prepared from either precooked corn flour or white wheat flour + cheese and margarine compared with the same basal breakfast enriched with either ferrous sulfate or iron-EDTA. The inhibitory effect of phytate and polyphenols on iron absorption from ferrochel was also tested. A total of 74 subjects were studied in five experiments. Iron absorption from ferrochel was about twice the absorption from ferrous sulfate (P: < 0.05). When ferrous sulfate and ferrochel were administered together or in different meals, absorption from ferrochel was about twice the absorption from ferrous sulfate (P: < 0.05). Polyphenols present in coffee and tea inhibited iron absorption in a dose-dependent manner. American-type coffee did not modify iron absorption significantly, whereas both espresso-type coffee and tea reduced iron absorption from ferrochel by 50% (P: < 0. 05). Ferrochel partially prevented the inhibitory effect of phytates. Because of its high solubility in aqueous solutions even at pH 6, its low interactions with food and high absorption, ferrochel is a suitable compound for food fortification.