Alterations to Common Foods in Attempts to Increase Iron Intake

Schmidt, Catherine
Schantz, Rhoda
Iron deficiency anemia is a common, worldwide problem, most severely affecting infants, children and women of childbearing age. Iron deficiency anemia has been shown to cause significant health care costs which can be decreased by adequate intake of the RDA of 18 mg/day. Molasses is an inexpensive, common sweetener that contains a large majority of nutrients that are processed out of refined sugar. Because brownies are a strongly flavored, frequently consumed treat within the age groups most frequently at risk, I chose to fortify this dessert with varying amounts of molasses to increase iron content. The experiment tested the substitution of 1/3 and 2/3 of the traditional sweetener (granulated sugar) for equal mass of molasses. Along with subjective assessments from a four person panel on the appearance, aroma, texture, flavor and sweetness; the objective views of viscosity, volume, tenderness and baking time was evaluated. It was concluded that due to the taste confliction with expectations, molasses is not an appropriate substitution for granulated sugar in brownies. Further studies of alterations to brownie recipes are recommended.
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