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Availability of zinc from infant formula by in vitro methods (solubility and dialyzability) and size-exclusion chromatography coupled to inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry

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2016-12-01
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Elsevier
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Zinc bioaccessibility from infant formula was estimated by in vitro methods (solubility and dialyzability) and size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) coupled to inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Infant formula samples were first characterized in terms of Zn bound to lipids and proteins and Zn distribution in the aqueous soluble protein fraction. We found that Zn is not incorporated into the lipid fraction of the samples, being mainly associated with the protein fraction (around 100%). Fractionation of Zn-containing proteins in the soluble protein fraction was achieved by SEC-ICP-MS after performing protein extraction with a solution of 100 mM (pH 6.8) Tris-HCl. The percentages of zinc in the soluble protein fraction in the soy-based and lactose-free infant formula were very low, around 7 and 24%, respectively, whereas the content of Zn in the soluble protein fraction of milk-based formula was around 90%. By SEC-ICP-MS, we found that Zn is associated with low-molecular weight compounds (around 10 kDa) in all the infant formulas tested. The percentages of Zn estimated in the in vitro gastrointestinal digests of the infant formula ranged from 30 to 70% and from 1 to 10% for solubility and dialyzability assays, respectively. The dialyzability test resulted in lower than expected scores, as SEC-ICP-MS analysis of the gastrointestinal extracts revealed that Zn is bound to biomolecules with a molecular weight ranging from 1 to 7 kDa, which suggests that dialysis data should be interpreted with caution. Speciation studies are a valuable tool for establishing availability of nutrients and for validating data from dialyzable in vitro methods.
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