Food fortification: good to have or need to have?

Only very small quantities of vitamins and minerals are needed for human health but deficiencies can have disproportionately large, often life-threatening, effects. Micronutrient deficiencies lead to a vicious cycle of malnutrition and infection in poorly nourished populations. Fortification of staple foods is the cheapest, most efficient and most effective way to supply large populations with essential micronutrients. This paper reviews the case for fortification of flour supplies with iron and folic acid and concludes that it is the best way to provide daily doses of these nutrients to populations in developing countries, especially for women of child-bearing age.



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