The word ‘fortification’ means ‘a defensive wall or other reinforcement built to strengthen a place against attack’ – so what has that got to do with cereals? Well, when cereals are ‘fortified’, it means they contain added vitamins and minerals to help our brains work well, our bones grow and to maintain the body’s defences.
Foods have been fortified since the 1920s, when extra nutrients were added to help make up for vitamins and minerals lacking in people’s diets. These days, if we have a balanced diet, it’s easier to reach recommended nutrient intakes, and your morning bowl of cereal can help your family get what they need. In fact, research shows that children and adults who eat fortified cereals are more likely to get the vitamins and minerals they need for the day.
Essential vitamins and marvellous minerals
|Help release energy||Riboflavin (B2) Niacin (B3) Pantothenic Acid (B5) Pyridoxine (B6) Calcium (Ca) Iron (Fe)|
|Contribute to a healthy skin||Riboflavin (B2) Niacin (B3)|
|Help the nervous system work properly||Riboflavin (B2) Niacin (B3) Pyridoxine (B6) Calcium (Ca)|
|Contribute to healthy blood||Pyridoxine (B6) Folic Acid (B9) Iron (Fe)Riboflavin (B2)|
|Essential to normal cell division||Folic Acid (B9) Vitamin D Calcium (Ca) Iron (Fe)|
|Keep the immune system working properly||Pyridoxine (B6) Folic Acid (B9) Iron (Fe) Vitamin D|
|Contribute to healthy bones and teeth||Calcium (Ca) Vitamin D|
|Help reduce tiredness||Riboflavin (B2) Niacin (B3) Pantothenic Acid (B5) Pyridoxine (B6) Iron (Fe) Folic acid (B9)|
|Contributes to cognitive development||Iron (Fe)|
Enjoy as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
- Hannon E, Kiely M, Flynn A (2007) The impact of voluntary fortification of foods on micronutrient intakes in Irish adults. Br J Nutr. 97(06):1177-86. • INCA2 (2008) French National Dietary Survey. • Albertson AM, Thompson D, Franko DL, et al (2008) Consumption of breakfast cereal is associated with positive health outcomes: evidence from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study. Nutr Res. 28(11):744-52.
- IN PERSON
For the last 15 years we’ve been working to reduce the sodium (which is the major component of salt) in our breakfast cereals across the world, because we want to keep on making them more nutritious. Achieving consistency on all products, in all countries, takes time - so some may have more sodium than others. Our aim is for all our cereals – globally – to have the same reduced levels of sodium, with a target of less than 135mg per serving in all our children’s products.
As well as being a healthy choice for people who want to reduce the amount of gluten in their diet, or have coeliac disease or a gluten intolerance, Gluten Free Corn Flakes are fortified with B-vitamins, folic acid and iron
Two things to remember: • Look for food labels where the word 'whole' appears in front of the name of the grain, like “whole wheat” or “wholemeal bread”. • For foods with more than one ingredient, make sure whole grain is listed towards the top of the ingredients list. The further up the list it is, the more whole grain has been used in the recipe. And look out for the percentage of whole grain. You should find this in the ingredients list too.
It’s too early to say. The science in this area is still emerging. There is evidence that low GI foods take longer to digest and help you feel satisfied for longer, but none that you’ll eat fewer calories at the next meal.
Because it’s industry practice to label seasonal oils (oils that aren’t consistently available across the year). In Europe it’s now mandatory to detail the types of vegetable oils used in a food product. So it’s no longer permitted to use the term “vegetable oil” on a label.