Calcium and Iron Content of Cereal-Based Gluten-Free Products

Yvonne Jeanes, Ambra Spitale, Giorgia Nicolini, Voulla Bergmann, Lorretta Fagbemi, Rawan Rasheid, Camilla Hovland, Adele Costabile

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The impact of a gluten-free (GF) diet on the intake of calcium and iron is broadly unknown, as the micronutrient content of GF cereal-based products has scarcely been measured. The study aimed to measure the calcium and iron content of GF cereal-based products from the UK. Seventy-three GF products were analysed. A laboratory analysis of calcium and iron from GF food samples was performed by spectrophotometric and flame emission photometry, respectively. The values for wheat-based products were from a nutrient database. The calcium in GF white loaf samples varied greatly from 54 to 140 mg/100 g, with a lower average calcium content compared with wheat-based values (99 ± 29 mg/100 g n = 13 versus 177 mg/100 g; p < 0.01). Only 27% of the white loaves and rolls were fortified with calcium; this contrasts with 100% of white wheat-based loaves. The calcium in GF flour mixes ranged from 54 to 414 mg/100 g, with 66% fortified. GF white pasta had more calcium compared with wheat-based pasta (76 ± 27 mg/100 g n = 7 versus 24 mg/100 g; p = 0.002). The iron in GF bread loaves and pasta samples was similar to wheat-based comparators, whereas lower iron levels were observed in GF wraps (0.8 ± 0.2 n = 11 versus 1.6 mg/100 g). GF bread had a significantly higher fibre content, and the majority of GF bread had a lower protein content, compared with wheat-based bread products. These calcium and iron values provide a valuable addition towards enabling more accurate nutrient intake analysis for adults and children with coeliac disease.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2022


  • Gluten
  • coeliac

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