Colloidal stability and chemical reactivity of complex colloids containing Fe3+

Y.M. van Leeuwen, K. P. Velikov, W.K. Kegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The reactivity of iron contained within insoluble colloidal metal-pyrophosphate salts was determined and compared to the reactivity of a soluble iron salt (FeCl3). As a model system for the reactivity of iron in food products, the formation of an iron–polyphenol complex was followed with spectrophotometry. Three types of systems were prepared and their colloidal stability and reactivity studied: Fe3+ pyrophosphate, protein-coated Fe3+ pyrophosphate and mixed-metal pyrophosphates containing Fe3+ and a second cation M. The additional cation used was either monovalent (sodium) or divalent (M2+). It was found that: (i) incorporating iron in a colloidal salt reduced its reactivity compared to free Fe3+ ions; (ii) coating the particles with a layer of hydrophobic protein (zein) increased stability and further decreased the reactivity. Finally, the most surprising result was that (iii) a mixed system containing more Fe3+ than M actually increased the reactivity of the contained iron, while the reverse, a system containing excess M, inhibited the reactivity completely.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-166
Number of pages5
JournalFood Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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