Vitamin Fortification 101

May 20, 2013

Vitamins are often added to foods to increase their nutritional value. Find out the basics here

What is Vitamin Fortification?
Vitamin, mineral, and essential nutrients are added to replace those lost in food manufacture or storage; to raise the level to that of similar foods.

How to Buy:
Fortified nutrients are in most baked goods, dairy, and juices, and packaged items, particularly cereals, crackers and other foods made with processed grains.

How to Read the Label:
DV is the Daily Value the FDA determines for specific nutrients, listed as the percentage of DV in a single serving or in the package.

Salt fortified with iodide is the most common. The majority of milk, juices, and cereals are fortified with synthetic vitamin D, used for bone health, as well as nerve and muscle function and more. Added for those who don’t get enough sunlight needed to produce it naturally. Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) fights free radicals, produces collagen for muscles and bones, and boosts immune system. B vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin) and iron may be decreased when whole grains are processed, so bakeries add high-vitamin yeasts and iron to breads. B vitamins aid nerve health and energy. Calcium is added to juices for those who do not consume dairy. Calcium aids teeth and bones. Folate, a water-soluble B vitamin, added via its synthetic form Folic Acid, prevents certain issues for the fetus pregnancy. Added fiber aids digestion and elimination. Vitamin K aids bone health, normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity.

Smarter Shopper:
Eating a diet plentiful in whole grains, fresh produce, and dairy products may provide all the necessary DV of nutrients. 20 minutes of sunlight a day aids vitamin D absorption.

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