Preparation, physicochemical characterization and stability of iron-supplemented caseins were studied. When ferrous iron (final concentrations of 0·25, 0·5, 1·0 and 1·5 mM) was added to sodium caseinate (final casein concentration 25 g/l), iron binding to caseins was complete. In parallel, an increase in absorbance at 280 nm, a decrease in fluorescence intensity, modifications of reversed-phase HPLC profile, a decrease in pH and an increase in free sodium concentration were observed. Moreover, no release of iron from iron-casein complexes was found between pH 6·5 and 3·7 or after heat treatments or in the presence of inorganic phosphate. Only EDTA disodium salt and trisodium citrate had significant effects on the release of iron bound to caseins.