Food Fortification


Fortification has a strong history, Concept of food fortification came as a result of a particular public health need. For example, in 1924, Iodine was added to salt in order to prevent the wealth of problems that had arisen as a result of Iodine Deficiencies. By 1998, Folic Acid was added to flour, baked goods, and cereal to prevent abundant Neural Tube Defects in infants—it is so effective at reducing this risk that more than 50 countries require folate fortification in certain foods. Another typical fortification is Vitamin D, which was added to milk in the early 1900s.

What actually is Food Fortification?

Fortification involves the process of adding nutrients to foods irrespective of whether or not the nutrients were initially present in the food to correct or reduce deficiency disorders. It is a means of improving the nutritional status of a population (or potentially a sub-population).

How do we know that a food product is fortified?

The ‘+F’ logo has been notified to identify fortified foods.

Fortification vs Enrichment:

People are often confused between these terms, which sometimes are interchangeably used. Both fortification and Enrichment deals with the addition of nutrients but still, there is a difference. Let us see what the difference is.

Purpose of Food Fortification:

  1. To increase the nutritional quality.
  2. Reduce Nutritional Disorders.
  3. Bodybuilding 

Criteria For selecting a Vehicle(food) for fortification.

Safety and technical considerations are considered when deciding which foods to fortify and to what level:

  1. It should be an edible item consumed by a large population.
  2. There should be no change in the organoleptic properties when added.
  3. Low cost of food product so that everyone could afford it, generally staples are preferred.
  4. Should have good storage stability

In India, the following foods at present are generally being fortified.

 Types of Food Fortification:

Let us now understand the three types of fortification and how it is done.  

Biofortification: It is the process of increasing the micronutrient content of a food crop through selective breeding, genetic modification, or the use of enriched fertilizers. For e.g. Plants can translocate minerals from the soil to the edible portion of the crop. It is a long-term and cost-effective process.

Home Fortification: Micronutrient powders refer to sachets containing micronutrients in a dry powder form that can be added to food, i.e. ready for consumption. For, eg. It can be done simply by sprinkling over the food or mixing it in milk to make curd, kheer, etc. Thus it derives its name as Home fortification.

Industrial fortification: Industrial food fortification refers to adding micronutrients and minerals to industrially processed and widely consumed edible products. This type of fortification is generally done in industries like wheat processing, rice processing, and oil manufacturing.

a. Wheat fortification: Powdered vitamins and minerals are added to the flour during the milling process using feeder equipment. Three types of feeders are used for fortification: Screw feeder, Revolving disk feeder, and Drum pipe feeder.


b. Rice fortification: Rice fortification is complex. The leading technologies available to fortify rice are Hot Extrusion (70-110 °C), Cold Extrusion (below 70 °C), Coating, Dusting.

c. Oil Fortification: Oil fortification is the process of adding micronutrients to edible oil to increase its nutritional value. At an individual level, fortified oil can help to person meet 25-30 percent of recommended dietary intake for vitamin A and D, according to FSSAI.


Food fortification is attractive because it does not require the target groups to change their diet but can be implemented by the food industry efficiently and because it reaches large numbers of consumers through retail, it is an incredibly effective way of tackling deficiencies in densely populated urban areas. Also, it is a fantastic cost-effective process.


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