Micronutrient deficiencies are very common and prevalent as people don’t eat and get enough essential vitamins and minerals every day. So fortified and enriched foods help to increase this vitamin and mineral intake of adults and also children.
Fortified Foods: These foods are added with nutrients that do not occur naturally in the food. They improve nutrition and add to the health benefits. For example, milk can be fortified with vitamin A and Vitamin D.
Enriched Foods: When the nutrients that were lost during the processing period are added back to the food to restore its original vitamin content, it is called an enriched food item. Example: wheat flour: iron, riboflavin and folic acid are added back after processing.
For Kids: As kids are vulnerable to iron, B vitamins and zinc deficiencies these foods help kids to meet their daily nutrient requirements as fortified and enriched foods are good sources of zinc, iron and B vitamins. However avoid high sugar, fat or sodium products and always check the nutrition label for the vitamin or mineral content before buying to avoid an overdose of certain nutrients. Include these foods along with a well-balanced diet.
For adults: They lack majorly magnesium, dietary fibre, Vitamins A, C, D & E, and calcium. So foods that are fortified or enriched with these nutrients will benefit individuals to meet their daily requirements.
These foods help to fight against nutrient deficiencies and tend to improve our overall health. They help to fill in the nutritional gaps and increase our vitamin and mineral consumption. Although one cannot rely totally and only on fortified or enriched foods as a healthy diet with whole foods and vegetables is very important to meet the daily needs.
According to FSSAI regulations, staples like rice and wheat flour are fortified with B12, folic acid and iron, milk and edible oils are fortified with Vitamin A and D and double fortification of salt with iron and iodine is done to reduce the burden of micronutrient deficiencies in India. The +F logo means that the food is fortified.