What is Ferrous Gluconate (E579)? Uses, Safety, and Side Effects

What is Ferrous Gluconate (E579)? Uses, Safety, and Side Effects

What is ferrous gluconate

Table of Contents

The food additive ferrous gluconate, or E579, is a synthetic mineral fortificant that adds iron to foods and beverages. Although it is an artificial coloring agent, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers it ‘safe’ for consumption. Let’s review some information on the substance. Keep reading to learn more about the chemical compound ceresin and its effects on human health.

What is ferrous gluconate in food?

Ferrous gluconate is a food additive used as a source of iron. It is also known as ferrous fumarate and ferric gluconate.

Ferrous gluconate is added to food products to fortify them with iron, which is an essential mineral. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, although this condition usually occurs from chronic blood loss or from other medical conditions that affect the body’s ability to absorb and transport iron through the bloodstream. In some cases, iron deficiency can be treated with oral supplementation of vitamin C and Echinacea, according to Drugs.com. ( 1)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved ferrous gluconate as safe for use in foods, including cheese spreads, fruit jams, bread, and cereals.

What is ferrous gluconate used for?

What is Ferrous Gluconate

Ferrous gluconate is a form of iron that is used as a dietary supplement. It is also used to treat iron deficiency anemia.( 2)

Iron is an essential mineral that your body needs to make hemoglobin, which helps carry oxygen in your blood. If you have too little iron, your body cannot make enough hemoglobin. This can cause anemia (a lack of red blood cells), which may cause symptoms like fatigue and shortness of breath, among others.

Ferrous gluconate is used to treat iron deficiency anemia due to low dietary intake or poor absorption of the nutrient, blood loss from menstruation or other causes, pregnancy and breastfeeding, alcoholism and other conditions affecting absorption of nutrients from food.

In some cases, ferrous gluconate has been used as a treatment for heart failure, homocystinuria and thalassemia.

What is ferrous gluconate made from?

Ferrous gluconate is a type of iron supplement used to treat iron deficiencies. It is available as a tablet that can be taken with or without water.

Ferrous gluconate is made from ferrous sulfate, also known as iron sulfate, which itself is made from iron oxide found in mineral deposits like hematite and magnetite. The chemicals used to isolate the pure element are then combined with glucose molecules to make ferrous gluconate.

Iron deficiency anemia occurs when you don’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout your body. This can happen because you don’t have enough iron in your diet or because your body doesn’t absorb enough of the iron that’s in your food.

What is ferrous gluconate 324 mg used for?

Ferrous gluconate 324 mg is used to treat iron deficiency anemia.

Ferrous gluconate 324 mg is a prescription medication that contains iron, a mineral your body needs to make red blood cells.

Ferrous gluconate 324 mg is used to treat iron deficiency anemia, a condition in which red blood cells are fewer in number than normal and are smaller than usual. This can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness or pale skin. Anemia may result from chronic bleeding or repeated blood loss, or from inadequate absorption of iron from food due to certain gastrointestinal disorders (such as celiac disease). It may also be caused by pregnancy or heavy menstrual periods.

How is ferrous gluconate made?

It can be produced by mixing calcium gluconate, sulfuric acid, sodium carbonate, and ferrous sulfate in appropriate proportions. The manufacturing process is as follows:

  1. Gluconic acid is the product of a reaction between sulfuric acid and calcium gluconate.
  2. To make ferrous carbonate, combine sodium carbonate and ferrous sulfate.
  3. To prevent the formation of FeCO3, gluconic acid reacts with excess ferrous carbonate.

Ferrous gluconate can be synthesized from gluconic acid (which is made from calcium gluconate) and iron powder.


Other names · Iron (II) di-D-gluconate dihydrate

· Gluconic acid, iron(2+) salt, dihydrate

· Iron gluconate

CAS number 299-29-6
Chemical formula C12H22FeO14 · 2H2O
Molecular weight 482.17

Ferrous gluconate structure

Ferrous gluconate structure



Ferrous gluconate is yellowish-gray or pale yellowish-green crystalline particles or powder with a slight caramel odor.


Ferrous iron is not stable if exposed to air; the iron will slowly oxidize to ferric.


Soluble in water, 5% aqueous solution is acidic, almost insoluble in ethanol


Between 4 and 5.5

What’s the application of ferrous gluconate?


According to the Chinese “health standards for the use of food nutrient fortifier” (GB14880-2012), ferrous gluconate can be used as a color protection agent pickling vegetables (olive only), with the maximum use of 0.15g/kg. Japanese regulations, this product can be used for a milk substitute, milk food, and maternal milk powder. The specific application details are as follows.


Ferrous gluconate is used in food as a nutrient supplement, such as vitamin and mineral supplements, and in infant formulas. To darken ripe olives, it is also used as a food coloring agent.


Iron deficiency anemia can be treated or prevented with ferrous gluconate.

Besides the pure form (powder or granules) sold as bulk ingredients, you can also find ferrous gluconate tablets in different doses on the B2C market, such as 324 mg, 325 mg, 300 mg, 240 mg, 225 mg, etc.

In each of them, there is approximately 38 mg of iron, 38 mg of iron, 35 mg of iron, 26 mg of iron, and 28 mg of iron. As a result of multiplying [the amount of ferrous gluconate] by [the molecular weight of iron] divided by [the molecular weight of ferrous gluconate], the amount of iron can be calculated.

Tablet formulations may contain the following ingredients.

Multivitamin capsules and syrups can also be produced using it.

Check out medications for information about how much or how often you should take anemia medicine, side effects, and other information.

Anemia may also be treated with ferrous sulfate and ferrous fumarate, two other iron(II) salts.

Is ferrous gluconate safe?

Yes, ferrous gluconate is safe for most people. It’s often used in the treatment of iron deficiency anemia and other forms of anemia.

However, if you have hemochromatosis (excessive iron storage), you should not take ferrous gluconate because it may worsen your condition.

In addition, if you have heart failure or kidney disease and are taking a diuretic (a drug that increases the amount of urine produced), talk with your healthcare provider before taking ferrous gluconate. Also, let your doctor know if you’re taking other medications that can affect how well your body absorbs nutrients from food.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved ferrous gluconate as an ingredient in over-the-counter formulas to treat iron deficiency or anemia. Ferrous gluconate is also approved for use in prescription medications, such as ferrous sulfate.


The EU has authorized ferrous gluconate (E579) as an additive for use in food, and it is listed in Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012 as an authorized food additive and categorized as “ additives other than colors and sweeteners”.

Approved uses

Although it is permitted to be used in canned or bottled fruit and vegetables, and in fruit and vegetables in vinegar, oil, or brine where olives are darkened by oxidation, the maximum use levels are 150 mg/l or mg/kg

Food Standards Australia New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand have approved the ingredient with code number 579.


Function: dietary supplement, color retention agent, nutrient supplement.

Daily Intake: The tolerable daily intake of iron is 0.8 mg/kg BW, set in 1987.

What are the benefits of ferrous gluconate?

A ferrous gluconate is a form of iron that is used as a nutritional supplement. It’s often called ferrous fumarate or iron bis-glycinate.

Iron is an essential mineral your body needs to make red blood cells and transport oxygen throughout your body. You need to get it from food or supplements because your body doesn’t make enough of it.

Iron has many important roles in the body, including helping with blood formation and making sure you have enough energy for daily activities.

Inadequate amounts of iron can lead to iron-deficiency anemia (IDA), which causes fatigue and shortness of breath due to low levels of oxygen-carrying red blood cells in your blood.

Using iron supplements can help prevent IDA if you have a deficiency, but it’s important not to take too much so that you don’t develop health problems from taking too much iron over time.

What are the side effects of ferrous gluconate?

Common side effects of ferrous gluconate include:

Allergic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include itching and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Blood disorders. Symptoms of blood disorders include pale skin, weakness, tiredness, easy bruising or bleeding, and unusual nosebleeds.

Constipation. This can be caused by taking medications that contain iron. Taking any medication with a full glass of water after meals can help prevent constipation. If you need to take a laxative to treat constipation, talk with your healthcare provider before using it.

Diarrhea. Diarrhea can be caused by taking medications that contain iron or eating large amounts of dairy products while taking iron supplements. Diarrhea may also be a sign of an allergy or intolerance to iron supplements or other ingredients in the supplement you are taking

Differences between Ferrous gluconate and Ferrous sulfate

Ferrous sulfate and ferrous gluconate are both iron supplements, but they are not the same. A ferrous sulfate is an inorganic form of iron that is used to treat anemia. Ferrous gluconate, on the other hand, is a complex carbohydrate called sugar alcohol that contains iron.

Ferrous sulfate is made by mixing ferric oxide with sulfuric acid. The resulting product is an odorless white powder that dissolves easily in water. It has been used for more than 100 years to treat anemia and other conditions related to low levels of iron in the body. However, it can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort when taken at high doses.

Ferrous gluconate is made from glucose (sugar) and water with a small amount of elemental iron added during processing. The resulting syrup is odorless and colorless with a sweet taste similar to that of pancake syrup or molasses. It does not cause any side effects when taken at the recommended dose of approximately 1 milligram (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day over several weeks or months

Where to buy ferrous gluconate?

You can buy ferrous gluconate online at Amazon, or at your local drugstore.

The product is also available in bulk on Amazon. If you want to buy ferrous gluconate locally, the best place would be at a pharmacy, as they might be able to give you advice on dosage and usage.

You can also find it online at eBay or other auction sites, but don’t expect these sellers to be as knowledgeable as those selling directly through Amazon.

If you want to purchase from China, Grade Chemical is your best choice. Grade Chemical is one reliable ferrous gluconate supplier in China. they can supply you with much more competitive prices than your local prices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is ferrous gluconate natural?

Ferrous gluconate is not natural. Ferrous gluconate is a synthetic compound that contains iron.

Is ferrous gluconate vegan?

Yes. Ferrous gluconate is a type of iron supplement that is made from mineral iron and glucose. Glucose is a simple sugar molecule, which means it is made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Because it contains no animal products or byproducts, this type of iron supplement is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Is ferrous gluconate halal?

Yes, according to Islamic Law, it is permissible and meets the conditions of Halal, so it is generally recognized as halal. Some manufacturers have received certification from MUI, a Muslim-run organization that establishes standards for halal.

Is ferrous gluconate the same with ferric gluconate?

No. Ferrous gluconate and ferric gluconate are similar in that they contain iron, but they have different chemical structures. Ferrous gluconate is a salt of iron gluconate, and ferric gluconate is a salt of iron gluconate.

How much ferrous gluconate daily?

The recommended dosage for adults is 100mg of ferrous gluconate per day. In order to see the full effects of this supplement, it is recommended that you take this supplement daily for at least one month.

Is ferrous gluconate gluten free?

Yes, ferrous gluconate is gluten free. The material and manufacturing processes used to produce ferrous gluconate are completed in a facility that also produces gluten-containing products from wheat, so there could have been minor cross-contamination. However, the amount of gluten contained in ferrous gluconate will be lower than the 20 ppm allowed on a gluten-free food label, which means that it can still meet the requirements for being labeled gluten-free.

Is ferrous gluconate a preservative?

No. Ferrous gluconate is used as an iron supplement by people who suffer from iron-deficiency anemia. In amounts of 0–1% in sugar-free confectioneries and medical products, it is considered a food supplement, not a preservative.

Is ferrous gluconate safe during pregnancy?

Yes, ferrous gluconate is safe for use during pregnancy, but only under close medical supervision. While no direct harm has been observed, there are some concerns that the supplement may cause constipation or other deficiencies and malabsorption issues.


As we have seen, ferrous gluconate (E579) is a generic iron supplement. The Food and Drug Administration has approved this substance for use in foods as an additive and in a variety of medications. It’s also safe to consume and is easy to acquire from various sources, such as online or at your local pharmacy or store. You most likely consume some type of iron on a daily basis without even knowing it. This simple mineral is found in a variety of common food items, including leafy greens and beef.

Have you noticed any food packaging containing this fortifying agent in your daily life? Let us know in the below comments.

Sophie Feng

Sophie Feng

Sophie Feng is the author of gradechemical.com, she is the co-founder of the grade chemical network. She has been in grade chemical company since 2017, with a working knowledge of food chemical .

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