Food Fortification

In the summer of 1941 a National Nutrition Conference for Defense was held that led to the recommendation that there should be improvement of the nutritive value of certain low-cost stable food products (e.g., flour and bread) by nutrient enrichment to replace nutrients lost during the milling and refining process. This led to recommendations to fortify milk with vitamin D, margarine with vitamin A, and salt with iodine using the new recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) established by the Committee on Food and Nutrition of the National Research Council (currently the Food and Nutrition Board) as a yardstick to judge the appropriate levels of fortification. Standards of identity for 'enriched' flour' were initially established that allowed for the addition of the 'basic four': iron, thiamin, niacin, and riboflavin (with optional calcium). In subsequent years, the standard of identity concept was expanded to include some other enriched foods. As of 1998, the Food and Drug Administration mandated that folate be added to the standards of identity for enriched breads, flours, corn meals, pastas, rice, and other grain products.

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