From vitamins and minerals to protein and fiber, high-volume bakeries constantly are seeking product fortifications and enrichments to boost the health values of their products. This is nothing new.
More than 60 years ago, the U.S. government mandated the enrichment of flour with B vitamins and iron to offset nutritional deficiencies. These efforts proved successful as vitamin deficiency diseases such a beriberi and pellagra vanished from the American population. Many years later, the fortification of flour with folic acid helped reduce the incidence of birth defects.
Today, bakers are expanding upon government-mandated fortification and enrichment programs by boosting the levels of existing nutrients in formulas and incorporating new nutrients into formulas.
"We’re doing a lot of custom blends for bakers who want to feature higher levels of folic acid or vitamin D," one leading vitamin and mineral blend supplier says. "We’re also customizing complete packages of six or eight different minerals and vitamins that are outside of the standardized product realm."
The baking industry’s quest to improve the health attributes of its products has resulted in the growth of premixed vitamin and mineral blends. These blends allow bakers to deliver a drop-in solution that attains a desired nutrition facts panel or ingredient listing.
The most common nutrients in vitamin and mineral blends include B-complex vitamins; niacin; pantothenic acid; biotin; and vitamins A, C and E. The benefits of using these blends are countless:
- They restore vitamin and mineral potency lost during processing
- They allow bakers to meet Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements for enrichments and fortifications
- They help bakers obtain desired FDA-approved labeling claims
- They make existing bakery foods more healthful.
Bakers can either purchase a standardized blend or customized blend to boost the health properties of their products. One ingredient manufacturer’s standardized blend offers 100% of the U.S. Required Daily Intake of 16 vitamins and minerals, giving bakery foods an impressive nutrient profile:
- vitamin A – 5,000 IU
- vitamin C – 60 mgs
- vitamin D – 400 IU
- vitamin E – 30 IU
- thiamine – 1.5 mgs
- riboflavin – 1.7 mgs
- vitamin B-6 – 2 mgs
- biotin – 0.3 mgs
- niacinamide – 20 mgs
- folic acid – 0.4 mgs
- pantothenic acid – 10 mgs
- iodine – 150 mcg
- copper – 2 mgs
- iron – 18 mgs
- vitamin B-12 – 6 mcg
- zinc – 15 mgs Besides standard vitamin and mineral blends, ingredient suppliers also have started to incorporate non-traditional nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, soy isoflavones and plant phytosterols, into premixed blends. Ingredient suppliers add these nutrients to bakery food formulas without negatively impacting taste, color or aroma.
Problem Solver Quick Tip
Bakers are expanding upon government-mandated fortification and enrichment programs by boosting the levels of existing nutrients and incorporating new nutrients into formulas.