Nutrient Addition to Foods

The Public Health Impact in Countries with Rapidly Westernizing Diets
  • Paul A. Lachance
Part of the Nutrition ◊ and ◊ Health book series (NH)


In January 1943, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed “War Food Administration Order No. 1” mandating the enrichment of commercial white bread and flour, corn flour, and rice with thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and iron. Thus began the first recognition in any country, even a developed country, that the human person is a social being with no inborn or instructive urges to prevent the occurrence of malnutrition. The human population is in an ever-changing world and thus faces a continuing evolution in lifestyle and technology. Food choices are increasingly diverse, yet the need for nutrients must be met despite the fact that the need for daily energy (kilocalories) has been diminished to a minimum by automated sophistications in technology. The technology for the addition of nutrients to food, spanning simple restoration, public health enrichment, fortification, and the addition of a balanced array of nutrients, namely, nutrification, has been applied in varying degrees to each of the major food groups (cereal grains, dairy, fruit and vegetable, and protein foods) and, therefore, the technology provides nutrient additions that are practically unavoidable in the daily consumption of food. In modern food processing, an increasingly wider array of nutrients are either removed or incorporated into food products and thus there follows an impact on the public health. Initially, nutrient addition technology provided a safe and significant approach to thwarting outright nutrient deficiencies. Today the need is to provide for the routine practice of the restoration of nutrients as food processing and preparation practices change; and to practice inherently balanced (to protein content) nutrification of foods that serve as meal alternatives.


Folic Acid Nutrient Addition Wheat Flour Neural Tube Defect Recommend Dietary Allowance 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

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  • Paul A. Lachance

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