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Thread: Fortified foods - can anyone explain?

  1. #1

    Default Fortified foods - can anyone explain?

    Hi folks.

    Just wondering if anyone could provide some good links about such foodstuffs. What is their function? What are their benefits? Where do we get them? Et cetera.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Fortified foods - can anyone explain?

    Fortified foods are available in most if not any supermarket.

    Fortification is a way of adding (commonly synthetic) nutrition or pseudo-nutrition to food-products.

    It is most commonly used as a technique by mass industry to try and market junk-food which is barely nutritional in anyw ay, or nutritionally dead, as a healthy product (ie chocolate spread *now with all kinds of vitamins* or Sugar-Sicklies (tm) *with added Vitamin C and Iron*)

    Sometimes (ie with soya milk fortified with calcium) it is a result of ignorance (ie they thought that it would need to be fortified with calcium to "replace" milk, not understanding that this is not needed, since unlike cows' milk the human body does not require large amounts of calcium to digest soya milk.)

    Some of this fortification is fairly likely to cause negative health effects in folks with an unbalanced diet, but the idea is that the customers will simply see "this labels says that this product contains IRON, CALCIUM and Vitamins A, B, D and Z in it" and see a healthy food-product instead of an unhealthy one just because it's had a little bit of concentrated fortification-nutrition added to it.
    Sadly, due to lack of widespread knowledge of nutrition, this is quite an effective technique - so the fortification industry is growing.

    The benefits are that if a person's diet is deficient in something then perhaps if those nutrients are obtained in their diet through fortified food it might help.
    Likesay it might not and may actually be harmful, but it might help.

    In a healthy and balanced nutritionally-sound diet there is of course no need for inferior kinds of nutrition as no extra nutrition is required.

  3. #3
    ♥♥♥ Tigerlily's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Atlantic Canada

    Default Re: Fortified foods - can anyone explain?

    Sometimes I drink calcium fortified orange juice.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Fortified foods - can anyone explain?

    Back when milling became mechanized and it became possible to provide white flour to the masses (up til then only the rich could afford white flour products) widespread deficiency diseases started showing up. That was when they started to discover what vitamins were, and that they were being removed by the milling process to make the products shelf stable. Instead of doing the sensible thing and going back to providing whole foods with their vitamins intact, they continued to remove all the nutrition from the grains and just added a few of the most essential vitamins in enough quantity to prevent disease. Now it has become a selling point mostly, although it may be important for vegans to consume foods fortified with B12. Your vitamin D levels may need attention, unless you get some sun on your skin. Soy products that advertise added calcium are probably trying to address the fears that dairy users have about not getting enough calcium.

    If you eat a good variety of whole, unprocessed foods you probably don't need to worry about including fortified foods in your diet. If you think you need supplements, choose your own rather than letting a food manufacturer choose for you.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Fortified foods - can anyone explain?

    a point also worth noting is that companies also sometimes use the term "enriched"

    This gives the customer the impression that it is enhanced with whatever nutrition it comes enriched with, but enrichment is simply the process of using typically inferior nutrition to replace nutrition which was lost from the food-product during manufacturing or processing.

    Calcium-enriched/fortified bread is an especially odd one, because in Victorian times bakers used to be in a lot of trouble with their customers and in some cases the law, if they were caught out when trying to use chalk as a filler in their bakery products ... but nowadays many manufacturers add chalk to bread in order to "fortify" it with calcium and this is considered by the masses to be a good thing ( ! )

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    NSW, Australia

    Default Re: Fortified foods - can anyone explain?

    Well I buy VitaSoy, but as they also offer Vitasoy Calcium+, at the same price, I choose the one with the extra calcium - why not?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Fortified foods - can anyone explain?

    Posted by Ricky:
    Well I buy VitaSoy, but as they also offer Vitasoy Calcium+, at the same price, I choose the one with the extra calcium - why not?
    Too much calcium interferes with iron absorption, may lead to kidney stones, and can form deposits associated with arthritis. The dairy industry has people way too paranoid about calcium. Too much is as bad as too little.

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