Food fortification is the process of adding micro-nutrients into food to help reduce dietary deficiencies that may be present within populations that rely on foods that may not contain these nutrients naturally. Food fortification is done by either the government as part of their health policy or by the food manufacturers during the manufacturing of food.
In the U.S., food fortification began in 1924, when iodine was added to salt in an attempt to reduce the problem of goiters. This program was initiated when a significant number of healthcare organizations such as the Council on Foods, AMA, American Public Health Association, and Nutrition of the Natural Academy of Sciences recommended the adoption of this step as supported by their research on goiters.
In the 60s, it was feared that increased food fortification might lead to over-fortification, and hence FDA proposed a more restricted approach to the problem. In 1962, the fortification program was scaled back to include 12 nutrients that are essential for health.
The current policy on fortification includes nutrients that are stable and physiologically available and are added in a quantity that does not pose a risk if taken in excessive.
Vitamins are essential for living a healthy life. They help to support and regulate the body’s many systems. Each vitamin plays a different role in the body. Here are some of the ways that vitamins that support the body:
- Vitamin A helps in maintaining teeth, bones, soft tissues, and skin.
- Vitamin C helps the body in absorbing iron and maintaining the tissues and also helps in healing wounds faster.
- Vitamin D is made in the body by absorbing sunlight helps in absorbing calcium and also helps in regulating blood calcium and phosphorus levels in the body.
- Vitamin B6 helps in the development of red blood cells and in maintaining brain function.
- Vitamin B12, on the other hand, is essential for the nervous system and is also important for metabolism.
As you can see, vitamins are important in regulating our body’s functions. The right quantity of these vitamins in the body is achieved by food fortification as the essential amount of these is sometimes not present originally in the food.