Because of the cost and other issues of using animals for mineral bioavailability determination, in vitro systems and cultured cells have been explored as alternative testing models. An in vitro system has been developed to assay for feed phosphorus bioavailability.1-7-1 Ferritin analysis of Caco-2 cells cultured with filtered samples treated with simulated stomach and intestine digestions has been used to determine iron bioavailability.1-8-1 Although it is convenient to use these systems to screen for large numbers of samples at relatively low costs, caution should be given in relating the data to physiological conditions.
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