Milk products are only moderate sources of folate. Nevertheless, they are of interest due to their content of folate-binding proteins (FBP), which in some studies have been reported to increase folate bioavailability. The effect of FBP on folate bioavailability has been widely discussed. The aim of this study was to investigate the bioaccessibility of folic acid and (6S)-5- methyltetrahydrofolate (5-CH3-H(4)folate) from fortified yogurt using a dynamic in vitro gastrointestinal model (TIM). In addition, the effect of FBP on folate bioaccessibility and the stability of FBP added to yogurt during gastrointestinal passage were investigated. Folate bioaccessibility was 82% from yogurt fortified with folic acid and 5-CH3-H(4)folate. The addition of FBP to yogurt decreased (P <0.05) folate bioaccessibility. The lowering effect of FBP was more pronounced in yogurt fortified with folic acid (34% folate bioaccessibility) than from yogurt fortified with 5-CH3-H(4)folate (57% folate bioaccessibility). After gastrointestinal passage, 17% of the FBP in yogurt fortified with 5-CH3-H(4)folate and 34% of the FBP in yogurt fortified with folic acid were recovered. No difference in folate bioaccessibility was found between folate-fortified yogurt and folate-fortified pasteurized milk (P = 0.10), whereas the lowering effect of FBP was (P <0.05) greater in yogurt compared with pasteurized milk. In conclusion, based on the high bioaccessibility of folic acid and 5-CH3-H(4)folate, yogurt without active FBP can be considered to be an appropriate food matrix for folate fortification.
- neural-tube defects
- cows milk