Ferrous gluconate (E579)

The dietary supplement E579 or ferrous gluconate has been the subject of medical controversy for many years. Some argued that without this substance, anemia can develop, since it is iron that is directly involved in the synthesis of hemoglobin. Their opponents pointed out that an excess of iron in the body has a very negative effect on the work of many internal organs and systems, in particular, the heart.

Following medical research, ferrous gluconate was added to the list of approved dietary supplements. The substance is used in food production as a color stabilizer. Today, no one doubts the safety of using this food concentrate - the additive is officially recognized not only as safe, but also useful. And it is iron gluconate that is prescribed by doctors for patients with developing anemia.

Production method

To obtain a stabilizer, a chemical reaction is carried out, the reagents of which are ferrous sulfate and barium gluconate. The resulting substance has pronounced properties of a stabilizer and emulsifier.

Depending on the production of ferrous gluconate, it can also be genetically modified. But in most cases, food manufacturers use a chemical additive.

Outwardly, it is a loose powder, sometimes with rather large fragments. The color of the substance is yellow with a gray or green tint. Ferrous gluconate has no taste. The aroma is mild, reminiscent of the smell of burnt sugar. The powder is perfectly soluble in ordinary water, solubility in alcohol is low.

For packaging, any type of container suitable for bulk products is used - multilayer kraft bags; polypropylene bags; cardboard winding drums. During storage, contact of E579 with water should be avoided, since the substance has a high absorbent performance.

Properties of the substance

It should be known that the additive E579 is not a dye - this substance only stabilizes the color, preventing its changes.

But most often in production, iron gluconate is used as an emulsifier. If the manufacturer violates the manufacturing technology and more E579 is added to the finished product, then the food will acquire a not very pleasant aroma of burnt sugar.

It is important to note that doctors do not set strict norms for the consumption of this nutritional supplement, since it is not dangerous for the body. And the inclusion of iron gluconate in the finished product is insignificant, so that under normal conditions it is almost impossible to achieve an excess of iron concentration in the body.

The value of E579 from a medical point of view is that this form of iron is the most suitable for absorption by the body. The pharmaceutical preparation iron gluconate is essentially no different from a food concentrate. Only in pharmacies it comes in the form of syrups or tablets.

Nutritional value

Ferrous gluconate is a food concentrate that not only does not harm the human body, but is also beneficial to health. The supplement replenishes the optimal balance of iron in the body, which is the key to the normal process of hematopoiesis. With insufficient production of hemoglobin by the body, there is an insufficient supply of oxygen to all internal organs. Lack of oxygen can cause the development of many severe pathologies.

Today, all countries have recognized the additive E579 as absolutely safe for human health. Its use in the manufacture of food products is allowed, the daily dose is not limited.

Application in the fields

Ferrous gluconate is actively used in many industries:

  • food industry - as a stabilizer and emulsifier;
  • pharmacology - in the production of drugs aimed at filling the lack of iron in the human body;
  • cosmetology - in the creation of therapeutic, restorative and preventive cosmetics.

As an iron color stabilizer, gluconate is used in the preservation of olives. At the same time, when preserving this product, dyes are not used at all - the main purpose of using E579 is to preserve an attractive color for the consumer.

Fresh olives are not appetizing - the berries are slightly shriveled, the color is not uniform. As for the taste, it is generally impossible to eat them raw because of the bitterness, justified by the presence of okuropein in the composition of the glycoside.

Previously, producers were forced to prepare pickled olives using a very long and costly technology, according to which the fruits were soaked and fermented in a saturated saline solution for a whole year. Today, the process of combating bitterness has been reduced to a few days, and the saline solution has been replaced with sodium hydroxide. But the following problem arises - when oxidized, the olives darken, losing their attractiveness. Preserving a pleasant green or saturated color was made possible thanks to the use of the E579 color stabilizer.

Influence on the body

The substance iron gluconate, entering the body, is immediately absorbed by the intestinal walls, and the beneficial element enters directly into the blood. In the amount in which E579 is used in food production, the product is absolutely safe and does not pose hidden health risks.

With a lack of iron in the body, a person feels lethargic, tired. When the deficiency of a useful trace element increases, anemia develops. In this case, the patient is shown taking medications made on the basis of the food additive E579.


But iron gluconate also has contraindications and restrictions on intake. Some people suffer from intolerance to this substance - this category of consumers should carefully study the composition of the food they buy and refuse to purchase those that include E579.

It should be noted that manufacturers always honestly indicate the presence of this stabilizer or emulsifier in the composition of the product.

People who have serious gastrointestinal, kidney or liver disease should minimize their intake of ferrous gluconate. The same restriction applies to people with asthma.

By itself, this dietary supplement is absolutely harmless, problems can arise only if consumption is significantly exceeded. Therefore, in the case of taking medications containing iron, you should control the amount of consumption of products with the addition of E579.