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J Nutr. 2001 Aug;131(8):2177-83.

Fortification contributed greatly to vitamin and mineral intakes in the United States, 1989-1991.

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  • 1Food Science and Nutrition Department, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407, USA.


The objective of this work was to quantify the contribution of fortification (defined here as adding nutrients beyond traditional enrichment standards) to dietary nutrient intakes in the United States. A list of fortified foods was developed that was relevant at the time of the analyses, and prefortification (naturally occurring) nutrients in the fortified foods were determined from industry-supplied data. Using dietary data from the 1989-1991 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII), intakes of nine nutrients were determined both as reported in the CSFII (i.e., postfortification) and also by using prefortification nutrient levels for the identified fortified foods. We report data for the total population age >/= 1 y based on respondents (n = 11,710) with 3 d of dietary data, as well as select age/gender subgroups. All data were weighted. Fortification substantially increased the intakes of all nutrients examined except calcium, in all age/gender groups but especially in children. In numerous cases, fortification was responsible for boosting median or 25th percentile intakes from below to above the RDA. The breakfast cereal category was responsible for nearly all the intake of nutrients from fortified foods, except vitamin C for which juice-type beverages made as great or a greater contribution. These data from 1989 to 1991 serve as a useful baseline with which to compare contributions of fortification as the practice expands. The large contribution of fortification even in 1989-1991 suggests that continued monitoring of fortification practices, using methods such as those presented here, is important.

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