Fortification of foods commonly consumed by populations at risk of micronutrient deficiencies has been demonstrated to be an effective public health intervention. Iodization of salt, fortification of milk with vitamin D, and the addition of thia-min, riboflavin, niacin, and iron to cereal grain products have a long history in several developed countries, some starting as early as the 1920s. More recently, several countries have either required or permitted the fortification of cereal grain products with folic acid. In addition, where the regulatory environment permits, the food industry has voluntarily fortified a variety of foods with a wide array of nutrients. The importance of food fortification in the diets of developed countries is clear. Surveys indicate that fortified foods make significant contributions to the intakes of nutrients among different population groups, resulting in improved nutrient status and/or related health conditions. The success of food fortification in developed countries can be attributed to several factors, notably cooperation among different sectors to raise consumer awareness and demand for more healthful foods. However, as the popularity of fortified foods grows and trends toward random fortification and overfortification of the food supply continue, careful monitoring of existing fortification programs and policies become more critical to ensure not only the adequacy but, perhaps more importantly, the safety of food fortification in generally well-nourished populations.
See also: Ascorbic Acid: Deficiency States. Calcium. Cobalamins. Folic Acid. Food Fortification:
Developing Countries. Functional Foods: Regulatory Aspects. Iodine: Deficiency Disorders. Niacin. Riboflavin. Thiamin: Beriberi. Vitamin A: Deficiency and Interventions. Vitamin D: Rickets and Osteomalacia. Vitamin B6.
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