New research shows that AB-Fortis encapsulated iron supplement is well tolerated compared to conventional iron salts.


Research from IFF and the Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia shows that AB-Fortis encapsulated iron supplement is well tolerated compared to conventional iron salts.

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In a new research partnership, IFF (New York City) and the Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia (Spain, UCAM) have demonstrated that AB-Fortis, an iron salt (ferric saccharate) encapsulated in alginate (a natural seaweed-derived polysaccharide), is significantly better tolerated than a common iron salt. The ingredient’s unique encapsulation technology is robust hunder high pressure and temperature during process, maintaining its encapsulation in the stomach to avoid triggering gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort, and then releases iron in the intestine for optimal absorption.

In the single-center, crossover, randomized, double-blind, and controlled clinical study, published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences and funded by IFF, healthy premenopausal women were given a dose of 60 mg per day of elemental iron either in the form of AB-Fortis or conventional ferrous sulphate. Each intervention was administered for 14 consecutive days that was followed by a washout period of two menstrual episodes and a minimum of one month before the subsequent 14-day intervention period.

Subjects completed simple-to-answer questionnaires daily during the intervention and washout periods. Results showed that the incidences of symptoms, the number of complaints/symptoms, overall intensity, and total days of symptoms were significantly higher for subjects taking the conventional ferrous sulphate, compared to those taking AB-Fortis. The evaluated symptoms included nausea, heartburn, abdominal pain, flatulence/abdominal swelling, diarrhea, metallic taste, constipation, vomiting, headache, and shortness of breath. Both interventions were safe, without serious adverse events, but the supplementation of AB-Fortis was better tolerated.

“We’re pleased to partner with UCAM in this research to demonstrate that our premium iron ingredient, AB-Fortis has excellent oral tolerability,” said Ryan Lauchli, global health category manager, IFF Health, in a press release. “Iron can be hard to tolerate for many who take supplements, but our natural encapsulation is a great solution for our customers to incorporate into many different dietary supplements and food formats. We are proud to be able to deliver an efficacious ingredient to the industry so consumers can benefit.”


  1. Friling M et al. “Tolerability of oral supplementation with microencapsulated ferric saccharate compared to ferrous sulphate in healthy premenopausal woman: a crossover, randomized, double-blind clinical trial.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 23, no. 20 (2022): 12282,
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