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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Koji culture?
  2. What is bioavailability?
  3. What are organic and inorganic iron sources?
  4. Which is the most common form of iron used for supplementation/fortification?
  5. What is the difference between Aspiron™ Natural Koji Iron and other forms of organic irons?
  6. What is the effective dose for Aspiron™ Koji Iron?
  7. How can I use Aspiron™ in my products?
  8. What are Dietary Supplements?
  9. What are Fortified and Functional Foods?
  10. What are Nutraceuticals?
  11. What are “Naturally Healthy “ Products
  12. What are “Organic “ Products
  13. How do I learn more about the Aspiron™ Natural Koji Iron Technology?
  14. References

Answers…

  1. What is Koji culture?

    Koji culture is a microorganism, Aspergillus oryzae, that has been used over 2000 years, in Asia, to produce Miso, Soy Sauce and Sake.1 It is also generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for the production of food-grade enzymes and soy sauce.
  2. What is bioavailability?

    It is the ability of the human body to absorb and utilize macro (i.e proteins) and micronutrients (i.e. minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals).
  3. What are organic and inorganic iron sources?

    One of the factors that influences the bioavailability of dietary iron in humans is the physical-chemical form of the iron. In the Earth’s crust, iron is mainly found as ferric oxide and its salts. These salts are poorly absorbed by humans and have only become available through their incorporation into plants and animals by bacteria and fungi.2,3 Through this mechanism, ferrous and ferric salts are now common in our foods. Non-heme iron derived from plants such as inorganic ferrous Fe(II) and ferric Fe(III) salts, are absorbed into enterocytes through the divalent metal transporter 1. However ferric iron must be first converted to ferrous Fe(II) by duodenal cytochrome b before it gets absorbed.4

    Besides inorganic salts, foods may also contain iron bound to proteins, peptides, amino acids and carbohydrates. These are described as organic forms of iron; some examples include heme-iron (myoglobin) derived from meat, organic chelates and non-heme iron from bacteria and fungi. The intestinal absorption of heme iron is thought to be mediated by a heme carrier protein that facilitates its transport into the enterocytes, where it is degraded by hemeoxygenase-1. The released iron joins a common transit pool of ferrous iron, including non-heme iron and gets transported into the blood stream.4,5

  4. Which is the most common form of iron used for supplementation/fortification?

    Ferrous sulphate (FeSO4) is one of the most commonly used sources of iron to combat iron-deficiency anemia (IDA). The preferred preventive option in third-world countries is the fortification of grain-based foods. Despite this long-held understanding of iron’s essential role in the diet, IDA remains the leading cause of malnutrition in the world.6 The latter has been partially attributed to the gastroentrological side effects of high doses of FeSO4, its low absorption in the presence of phytate-rich grain diets, lack of accessibility to heme-iron sources and negative organoleptic impacts of some iron sources to foods.7
  5. What is the difference between Aspiron™ Natural Koji Iron and other forms of organic irons?

    Aspiron™ Natural Koji Iron is a non-animal derived, natural source of high levels of iron that is absorbed and normally metabolized in humans.
  6. What is the effective dose for Aspiron™ Koji Iron?

    The results from a stable isotope study in humans conducted at Iowa State University by Dr. Manju Reddy showed that Aspiron 10 mg iron is as bioavailable as ferrous sulfate at the same dose.
  7. How can I use Aspiron™ in my products?

    Aspiron can be used to formulate foods, beverages, capsules and tablets. For more information, click here.
  8. What are Dietary Supplements?

    A dietary supplement is a consumer product taken orally that contains either a nutrient “dietary ingredient”, extract or concentrate derived from a food and is intended to supplement the diet. Dietary supplements can be found as tablets, capsules, bars, softgels, gelcaps, liquids, or powders.

    The Nutrition Business Journal defines Dietary Supplements according with six product categories: Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs, Meal Supplements, Sports Nutrition Supplements and Specialty Supplements.8
  9. What are Fortified and Functional Foods?

    According to Euromonnitor International, these are “products to which health ingredients (typically those with health claims) have been added. Fortified/functional food and beverages provide health benefits beyond their nutritional value and/or the level of added ingredients wouldn’t normally be found in that product. Products to which vitamins have been added to replace vitamins lost during processing are excluded.” 9

    The Nutrition Business Journal defines functional food “as food fortified with added or concentrated ingredients to a functional level, which improves health and/or performance or products marketed for their ‘inherent’ functional qualities. They include some enriched cereals, breads, sports drinks, bars, fortified snack foods, baby foods, prepared meals and more.”9
  10. What are Nutraceuticals?

    Nutraceuticals is a marketing term that is used to define consumer products that contain nutrients derived from a food, that provide health benefits in addition to the basic nutritional value and are used to supplement the diet. Nutraceuticals include dietary supplements and functional foods.
  11. What are “Naturally Healthy “ Products

    Euromonitor International includes in this category “food and beverages on the basis of naturally containing a substance that improves health and wellbeing beyond the product’s pure calorific value.”9
  12. What are “Organic “ Products

    Organic products include food and beverages that are certified organic by an approved certification body, such as the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). In general terms, for food and beverage products to be certified organic must to be made with raw materials that are grown under strict agricultural standards, are minimally processed without artificial ingredients, preservatives or irradiation; and do not use Genetically Modified Organism (GMOs).

    Source: USDA

  13. How do I learn more about the Aspiron™ Natural Koji Iron Technology?

    For more information, click here.
  14. References

    1. Murooka Y, Yamshita M: Traditional healthful fermented products of Japan. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 2008, 35:791-798.

    2.Drechsel H, Jung G: Peptide Siderophores. J Peptide Sci 1998, 4:147-181.

    3.Berdbanier CD, Zempleni J: Advanced Nutrition: Macronutrients, Micronutrients, and Metabolism. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2009.

    4.Kohgo Y, Ikuta K, Ohtake T, Torimoto Y, Kato J: Body iron metabolism and pathophysiology of iron overload. Int J Hematol 2008, 88:7-15.

    5. Aggett PJ: Iron. In Present Knowledge in Nutrition. 10th Edition edition. Edited by John W. Erdman Jr. IAM, and Steven H. Ziesel: International Life Sciences Institute and Willey-Black Well; 2012: 506-520

    6. WHO Global Database on Anemia. www.who.int/nutrition/publication/micronutrients/anemia. Worldwide prevalence of anemia (1993-2005).

    7.Hurrell RF: Fortification: overcoming technical and practical barriers. J Nutr 2002, 132:806S-812S.

    8. From Nutrition Business Journal: http://newhope360.com/nutrition-industry-definitions

    9. From Euromonitor International Report – Personal Communication.