In a world of constant instability, war, natural disasters, climate change, food insecurity becomes the number of a threat to human life.
Many solutions have been brought about to face it but it’s still a reality. GMOs have introduced but they happen to be risky.
An easy and simple solution to this issue is food fortification.
Food fortification helps to compensate for the nutrients deficiency of people living in unreachable areas.
Almost 1 billion people have benefited from fortified food in over 30 countries around the World.
This basically means that more than 1/8 of the people on earth face food deficiency.
What are fortified foods?
Fortified foods also called enrichment is the fact of bringing additional nutrients such as vitamins to food. Generally, we resort to it when the decision-makers or the public health agencies decide to diminish the figure of people suffering from dietary deficiency among the population or to eradicate nutritious issues.
How is it different from ordinary food?
Ordinary foods are basically foods occurring naturally unlike fortified foods which are food with added nutrients. There is no flagrant difference between both since both help the body process nutrients the same way.
However, some naturally occurring foods might be lacking some nutrients; in this case, they are fortified. But when ordinary food is rich enough in nutrients, they are not needed to be fortified. In case such kind of food has, added nutrients, we talk about food enrichment.
Why Food Fortification is required?
Food fortification is needed as soon you notice a nutrient deficiency or when the people of a given area hardly have access to the right quantity of food for their wellbeing. People tend to think fortified foods are more for developing countries than developed ones.
Well, that is false. Even in developed countries like the UK, the USA, food fortification is recommended to people, because they don’t have access to a diversity of food. Food fortification is somehow another way to ensure food security around the globe.
Fortified foods are also good for healthy food lovers. They certainly know about what nutrients they need to be healthy. They also know they need to enrich their daily diet. Being in good shape is almost like a must for them. And you cannot have a fit body if you lack certain nutrients. That’s why you will see many bodybuilders, athletes, adults, models make use of fortified foods.
Examples of fortified foods -Fortified Milk
–Fortified milk is a combination of milk and Vitamin D.
This is explained by the fact that Vitamin D helps absorb the calcium contained in the milk. Calcium plus Vitamin D equals powerful bones.
This is, for instance, a real solution to preventing bowed legs. This kind of food is specifically good people that practice fitness. Their body is reinforced with strong bones.
–Fortified cereals, bread, and Pasta Those foods are mostly fortified by Vitamin B and iron. They promote mental and physical health. But regarding cereals specifically, they are fortified with vitamin A that is well known for improving the vision and strengthening the immune system.
You’ll mostly find this Vitamin in oil, rice, cereal grains. Most of the food lovers deal with cereal related foods. But they use to add supplements because cereals do not contain as many nutrients as they would have expected.
Food fortification is one of the food lovers’ habits. Food fortification can be different from a person to another. For instance, food lovers for their fat loss diet need a certain supplement and do not need some. In their case, fortified foods go with fitness. These are the menu of fortified foods for food lovers and sportsmen.
– Fast and slow carbs. This includes fortified pasta, couscous, and potatoes. Those are fortified foods that are recommended to people willing to burn fat.
–Fats. It includes food such as Butter, peanut butter or mayonnaise, cheese, light salad dressing, nuts, and seeds. These foods are efficient for fat loss as well when they are enriched. They contain vitamin A that is helpful in maintaining eyes working.
Food Fortification benefits
The first benefit of food fortification is that it brings supplementary nutrients to basic food. Those nutrients are several and have different roles.
For instance, Vitamin D added to milk would consolidate the muscles and the bones whereas vitamin A added to cereals would help avoid vision-related problems.
Food fortification also helps in eradicating food insecurity in unstable places.
Henceforth, they are better alternatives than GMOs which can happen to be dangerous for people at times. Note that not all fortified foods are profitable.
Foods such as cookies, snacks, and likes that are fortified still remain foods with great risk when they’re abused.
Evolution of Fortified foods
IN U.S., Flour is the most commonly used for food fortification. Federal Regulations specifies a certain amount of folic acid, iron, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin that must be added to enrich flour and provides specifications for other optional nutrients.
Calcium; the bone-building nutrient, To overcome the calcium deficiency among the masses, Lesaffre Yeast Corp. uses calcium carbonate for calcium fortification through its patented technology.
As per the latest report from the American Bakers Association and Food Marketing Institute,
Power of Bakery 2019; In Chicago, Bakers have started boosting their foods with extra nutritional values.
One of the most important things is to be notified that the quantity of each nutrient to be specified during the fortification process because manufacturers/producers cannot have control over the eating habits of consumers. So, it needs to be cautious while doing these processes.
Who should prefer Fortified food?
Since everyone is not as educated as specialists when it comes to diet, it’s impossible to say who doesn’t need food fortification. Mainly fortified foods such as fortified grains, fortified milk are said to be destined for people having nutrients deficiency.
Such kind of phenomenon is located in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, South America and some parts of Europe. Those areas are mainly threatened by food insecurity. It is also recurring to see fortified foods in areas where there is war or natural disaster.
But to avoid or limit the risk of any nutrients deficiency it is recommended to take fortified foods at times. Once in a while, take a fortified yogurt or milk, it does some goods.
Summary As seen above, food fortification is important for everyone. Be it, children or adults.
We reviewed some of the fortified foods that are recurring but know that there exist many of them. Some of the foods we eat are even fortified.
Foods like Sardines, some cereals are B12 fortified foods. B12 should be consumed 256mcg per day by adults and mostly by people in their 50s according to WHO.
Do you really need fortified foods?
It’s good to go for those who actually deprived of all essential nutrients either it is subject to the location wise, environment wise & resources wise.
For example, Vegans can’t get B12 to enrich food because a vegetarian diet doesn’t claim Vitamin B12, So, they should consider B12 enriched fortified foods. There are many places, where masses deprived of Vitamin D due to excess of Weather conditions, they should take Vitamin D enriched food.
You are lucky enough if you don’t come under these circumstances.
Individuals should prefer to take all the essentials nutrients in the natural form if it is available to them.
Fortification of foods, generally, meant for masses to overcome nutritional deficiencies on a large scale.
One should never rely on the fortified food as a dietary supplement, it’s just to replenish & to balance the deficit of essential nutrients among masses.
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