Fortification Is Not Enrichment
‘Fortification’ and ‘enrichment’ are terms used to describe the addition of nutrients to foods, but are two separate concepts. Enrichment refers to the restoration of nutrients lost during the handling, processing, or storage of foods, and levels are generally based on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards of identity. Fortification refers to the voluntary addition of nutrients at levels beyond those naturally occurring in the food. Globally, the decision to fortify products is left to individual food manufacturers. Voluntary fortification is a common practice in many countries. Many countries including the United States, Canada and Australia require mandatory fortification of certain staple foods with specific nutrient(s) to improve public health, such as the fortification of enriched flour with folic acid to reduce the risk of neural tube birth defects, and also restrict the fortification of foods with certain nutrients such as vitamin D.