Studies on the effectiveness of NaFeEDTA-fortified soy sauce in controlling iron deficiency: a population-based intervention trial

Food Nutr Bull. 2005 Jun;26(2):177-86; discussion 187-9. doi: 10.1177/156482650502600201.


The objective of this research was to study the effectiveness of NaFeEDTA-fortified soy sauce for controlling iron deficiency in a high-risk population. This was an 18-month, randomized, placebo-controlled intervention trial in 14,000 residents aged three years or older in Bijie City, Guizhou Province, China, using sodium-iron ethylene diamine tetraacetate (NaFeEDTA)-fortified soy sauce (29.6 mg Fe/100 ml). The study data included measurements of food consumption, hemoglobin, serum ferritin, and serum retinol. The results showed that the diet consisted primarily of cereals, fruits, and vegetables, with very little meat. Food consumption remained unchanged during the study period and was similar in the fortified and control groups. The average daily soy sauce consumption of the group consuming the fortified product was 16.4 ml per person, which provided 4.9 mg of iron from NaFeEDTA. At the end of the trial, all age and sex subgroups receiving NaFeEDTA had significantly higher hemoglobin levels, a lower prevalence of anemia, and higher plasma ferritin levels than the controls. The effects became statistically significant after six months of intervention and were maintained throughout the study period. We conclude that NaFeEDTA-fortified soy sauce was highly effective in controlling iron deficiency and reducing the prevalence of iron-deficiency anemia in men, women, and children. NaFeEDTA-fortified soy sauce is affordable and was well accepted by the study population.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / blood
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / prevention & control*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • China / epidemiology
  • Diet Surveys
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Edetic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Ferric Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Ferritins / blood*
  • Food, Fortified
  • Hemoglobins / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Iron / blood*
  • Iron, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Soy Foods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Ferric Compounds
  • Hemoglobins
  • Iron, Dietary
  • Ferritins
  • Edetic Acid
  • Iron
  • Fe(III)-EDTA