The objective of this work was to investigate the interaction of chitosan with iron from yoghurt by an in vitro gastrointestinal tract model. Taking into account that chitosan is a polysaccharide included in fiber definition by Codex Alimentarius; chitosan behavior was studied and compared with different plant fiber (wheat, bamboo, apple, psyllium and inulin) behaviors, in the same in vitro conditions. Ferrous sulfate was added to yoghurts with each type of fiber. The gastric environment was simulated with HCl (pH 1.0-2.0). The duodenal environment was simulated with NaHCO(3) (pH 6.8-7.2) and a dialysis tubing cellulose membrane. Results showed that chitosan had the highest iron retention percentages (53.2% at 30 min; 56.8% at 60 min) interacting in a more pronounced manner with iron than the plant fibers used in this work.
Keywords: chitosan; gastrointestinal simulation; iron; plant fibers; yoghurt.