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Reasons for iron discolouration

A shipment of iron-fortified powdered baby formula has been rejected by the buyers in China because the power is off-color. The color of the powder should be cream-colored, but this shipment is reddish-brown to gray. Investigation by the manufacturer shows that the manufacturing process is simply "bucket chemistry". This means that nutrients, vitamins, and other additives are added to the powder literally by the bucket. Armed with these facts and your knowledge of chemistry, what do you think is the reason for the discoloration?

"Understanding the why of a solution- the process of deduction- is far more important than the solution itself." Chris Claremont and George Lucas. Shadow Dawn. Bantam Books. New 1997. Pg.320

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Solution Summary

This solution provides a quick, 32 word response to why iron may become discoloured and what reactions and oxidization may take place.