It’s no secret to most that our diets are sadly lacking in fiber, both soluble and insoluble. While movement toward “whole grains” in ready-to-eat (RTE) breakfast cereals and other grain-based foods is long overdue and excellent for health, it has not dented the huge need for more fiber. Most Americans are getting less than one-half their daily dose of needed fiber. Fiber content of food touches on just about all-major health issues, including obesity, diabetes, digestive diseases and heart disease. Google dietary fiber and all these issues will appear prominently. We know we need it—but why are we not getting it?

Nothing is more important for the consumer acceptance of foods than flavor. Flavor, or taste, is the reason people choose products and consume them. Flavor, of course, is nearly inseparable from other product attributes such as texture, sweetness, acidity, salt and appearance so it all gets bundled to most consumers as “taste.” Our job as food developers and scientists is to get all the pieces correct under the heading of flavor, so the total product is well liked by consumers.

In this three-phase study we first compared the availability of fourteen Fe forms in a wheat-based ready-to-eat breakfast cereal using an in vitro digestion/human colonic adenocarcinoma (CaCo-2) cell model. We then investigated the effect of milk and/or coffee on those fortified cereals found in phase 1 to show promising increases in Fe availability.

Presentation made at Grains for Health event.

New research is deepening our understanding of the complex interactions that lead to flavor perception. Application of this knowledge will aid in the development of superior products.