Ferrous lactate

From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary



A greenish white crystal or (powder) made up of iron (Fe2+) and lactate anions


Ferrous lactate is the iron salt of lactic acid.1 It is comprised of one atom of iron (Fe2+) and two lactate anions. It is soluble in water and practically insoluble in ethanol.2

It is a haematinic, i.e. an agent improving the quality of blood by increasing the number of erythrocytes and/or the haemoglobin concentration. Thus, it is used as an iron supplement and as an additive to an infant formula and other food and beverages. Possible adverse effects though are gastrointestinal upset and constipation.3

Apart from being an antianemic agent used in treatment of iron-deficiency anemia, ferrous lactate is used also to serve as an acid regulator as well as a colour retention agent.

IUPAC name: Ferrous 2-hydroxypropanoate

Chemical formula: C6H10FeO6


  • iron dilactate
  • iron (II) lactate

1 Food additives in Europe 2000 : status of safety assessments of food additives presently permitted in the EU. (2000). Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers. p.551.
2 Ferrous Lactate. Prepared at the 35th JECFA (1989), published in FNP 49 (1990) and in FNP 52 (1992). Retrieved from [1].
3 U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2005). FERROUS LACTATE. Retrieved from [2]