Right, so this is an odd one. Due to a person's combination of iron deficiency, a not-so-sturdy stomach and no particular interest in eating red meat or the like, that person essentially handed me a bag of heme iron supplement and an enquiry as to whether or not I could make this supplement palatable. The supplement is a powder, smells vaguely of iron and tastes like blood – because that's essentially what it is, I suppose. It can safely be heated and mixed with acids and bases.

My patron predominantly likes sweet, sour, and burnt food, but I'm open to any suggestion which answers the question: How do I mask – or, I suppose, complement – a teaspoon or two of dried blood in a meal?

4 Answers 4


Agree with the above posts as general guidelines but considering the taste buds it sounds like the "patron" does not like savory/umami flavors.

Best luck I've had for hiding the flavors of iron supplements is making smoothies; Citrus or some other very over-powering fruit. Then the "meaty" flavour disappears in the smoothie thickener.

ie: pineapple Chocolate banna orange Berry (black berry, strawberry, etc...)

A homemade v8 blend / Bloody mary would be perfect also; if they love veggie taste.

  • "bloody mary" great idea!
    – Lorel C.
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 16:22

To me, iron is closest to Umami in the taste bud system (at least how it's generally understood). Umami is often described as "savory" or "meaty", so I would experiment by using this supplement in dishes where savoriness is a benefit, and expected. You could think of it as a flavor additive, rather than trying to hide it you can use it instead to enhance savoriness. Try pairing it with eggs, lentils, mushrooms and as a replacement for soy sauce in stir fries, you could add it in coating/breading for fried foods as well.

  • 1
    Maybe mixed into burgers or meatballs made from turkey or beans would work along the same lines. Or Bolognese.
    – Chris H
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 11:51
  • The poster says that the client doesn't like red meat, but turkey would be a possibility. There's too long a list of possibilities for this site I think.
    – GdD
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 12:26

Easiest way to hide the iron taste, for me, would be to mix it with gelatine and add some sour fruit acids. With Vitamins C if the person have problem with digestibility of iron. Apple jelly is one of the best.

As GdD mentioned "bloody" taste would be good in things that usually pair with meat. I would avoid things with coffe, tea and milk (and also cheese).

Mint, thyme, marjoram, dill and parsley are good in hiding iron taste in medium raw burgers.


If this person truly likes sweet, sour, and "burnt" food, it seems like you could make up a modified sweet-and-sour potion using as a starting point some recipe found online or elsewhere. [E.g.: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/01/sweet-and-sour-sauce.html] ....The fruitier and stronger tasting, the better.

Hide some of your heme powder in there, and maybe even add garlic, garlic powder, or even chili peppers, if the stomach sensitivity permits.

You mention that red meat "or the like" is out, but could you still baste this stuff onto some chicken, turkey, or flavorful fish, and broil the heck out of it? Re-baste some more sauce onto it after cooking in case the charring destroys the biochemical properties of the heme powder (?)

If the victim - oops, I mean "diner" - happens to be a vegetarian, do the same with either tofu or perhaps a portobello shroom. Serve with rice. Yum.

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