Gill Stannard

Monday, August 20, 2007

wake up and smell the corn

Those kiwi kids are at it again. First it was the schoolgirls who found that despite advertising claims to the contrary Ribena has significantly less vitamin C than oranges. Now a Southland schoolboy has found that adding milk to (Sanitarium) cornflakes reduces the iron content by 80%.

A trip to the Skippy cornflake site shows that there is 10 mg of iron per 100 g of cornflakes. With a standard serve being 30 g, it works out to only 3 mg of iron per serve – before the milk is added. This is about the same amount of iron that is in 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses. The recommended daily intake (RDI) varies greatly from 8 mg/day for a man to 18 mg/d for a woman, blowing out to 27 mg/d in pregnancy. It’s interesting to note that while cornflakes are predominantly made of corn, this brand at least includes barley malt – a form of gluten, making it unsuitable for coeliacs for whom choices in cereals are already greatly restricted.

The take home message: If you must eat cornflakes, eat them dry as a snack – maybe with a generous handful of dried peaches which are the queen of iron containing fruits.

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