Vitamin Fortification Can Cause Off Flavors in Dairy Milk

Adding value to food and drinks is a popular trend in the food manufacturing industry. Consumers are demanding food and beverage brands to find ways to improve the nutritional value of their products. In fact, you can see many nutrient fortified products from cereals to soda.


The Rise of Value-Added Beverages

This is the reason why there is an increase of probiotic-infused beverages in the market. Examples of probiotic-based drinks that are available to the public include kombucha, flavored yogurts, and even drinking vinegar. But aside from drinks filled with healthy bacteria, another trend is to fortify ordinary drinks with vitamins and minerals. This is the reason why coffee and tea fortified with vitamins have found themselves on many supermarket shelves.

Plant-based milk created from nuts and seeds is also on the rise. These plant-based counterparts are positioned as healthier alternatives to traditional dairy milk.  But for a long time, dairy milk has held on to fortifying milk with vitamins to make it a healthier beverage.

The Problem with Fortified Dairy Milk

The most common vitamins that are added to milk are A and D. In the United States, these vitamins have been added to dairy milk since 1930 to halt the possibility of children developing blindness, cancer, and other vitamin deficiencies. The practice of adding vitamins and minerals to milk has been the standard in making pasteurized milk.

While beverage manufacturers have good intentions in fortifying milk, some consumers are complaining. The vitamin fortification of milk often results to imparting a distinct flavor that consumers mistake for spoilage.

In a study conducted by researchers from the North Carolina State and Cornell University, they found out that water-soluble vitamin concentrates often used in fortifying milk can lead to off flavors. On the other hand, using oil-soluble fortifications often results in no taste difference from unaltered milk. In the same research, test subjects detected a slight difference regarding flavor between enhanced skim milk and unfortified skim milk.

The Implications of The Study

The study revealed that while fortifying milk is a great idea to improve its nutritional value, it is crucial for beverage manufacturers to use the right vitamin concentrates.  Having said this, food manufacturers need to improve their process and invest in solutions that can control the impact of vitamin concentrates on the flavor of the dairy product.  The researchers recommended using less water-soluble vitamins and rely more on oil-soluble vitamins to improve the quality of their milk products.

But this strategy can backfire when it comes to the organic milk niche. Consumers who value natural and unaltered dairy products might find the fortification against their volition, so they opt not to buy them instead. Milk brands need to be clear and transparent about whether their milk is fortified or unfortified. Companies should look for ways to add food based vitamins like GrandFusion. GrandFusion is a concentrated blend of vitamins from fruits and vegetables including vitamins A and D.

Inspired by

FDA Approves Folic Acid Fortification Corn Masa Flour

Folic acid or folate is a type of B vitamin that is needed by pregnant women. It has essential functions in the development of the neural tubes to the brain and spinal cord of the fetus to develop properly. Eating folate-rich food is imperative not only for pregnant women but women in general. Consumption of 400mg of folic acid daily is enough to prevent the progression of neural tube defects. There are many sources of folic acid and it is important for women to eat a generous serving of these foods like lentils, spinach, broccoli, eggs and fortified grains and pasta.

Neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly are estimated to occur in 3,000 pregnancies in the United States every year. It is caused by minimal to no intake of folic acid. This is the reason why the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agreed on the fortification of food as an effective means of addressing micronutrient deficiencies.

Folic Acid Fortification to Help Hispanic American Women

Mandatory fortification of grains started in 1998, but despite this, there is a significant number of Hispanic children who suffer from this condition. Thus, one of the ways to diminish the inconsistency is to fortify the corn masa flour to improve the total consumption of folic acid among Hispanic women.

Corn masa flour is a primary component of Spanish dough that is made from cooking corn and alkali and grinding them. It is a staple food for many Latin Americans particularly those from Central America and Mexico. This type of flour has a wide variety of uses such as making tortillas, taco shells, tamales and corn chips. While corn masa flour is high in providing the necessary carbohydrates and energy for the body, it does not contain B vitamins. You would have to eat other foods that contain folic acid to get your daily intake.

Several types of research showed that Hispanic women have a lower intake of folate than non-Hispanic women.  As such, the US FDA has approved the fortification of corn masa flour with folic acid. Manufacturers of the corn flour should add up to 0.7 milligrams of folic acid per pound of masa flour. Increasing the consumption of folic acid in enriched corn masa flour is helpful in reducing the incidence of neural tube defects especially among populations wherein corn flour is a staple in their diet.

Studies showed that fortification of corn masa flour with folic acid can increase the daily intake of said nutrient in Hispanic women by as much as 20% which is higher compared to the normal consumption of only 4%. This also reduces the need for Hispanic women to take daily synthetic supplements as they can get their folate from staple food sources.

The addition of folic acid on corn masa flour was done after conducting a scientific safety review to ensure that adding the micronutrient is safe for the general populace. FDA also evaluated dietary exposure, toxicology data as well as other relevant information to make sure that corn flour enriched with folic acid is not only effective in preventing NTD but also safe.

Inspired by

Fortified Premixes: Fundamental Considerations

Research by the International Food Information Council Foundation on Food and Health revealed that 47% consumers prefer food with added nutrients. Consumers are now more aware of the food they eat. They read labels carefully and are informed enough to know the difference between what’s right for them and what isn’t. The massive demand for nutrient-rich food with added vitamins and minerals has given way to food fortification.

Food Fortification is the process of incorporating essential vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, iodine, vitamin A and iron into food products. These are blended into powdered premixes which are then added to products.

Fortified food was a breakthrough for disease elimination. Fortification is now used for filling nutrition gaps and balancing nutrient loss in the storing process of goods. Manufacturers are on the lookout for partners to launch their own fortified premixes and give their products additional features. However, it’s the process of formulating fortified premixes that pose the challenge. Here are the aspects that need to be considered regarding fortified premixes:

  • The fortification process relies heavily on the kind of food product that’s being fortified
  • Manufacturers need to chart a profile for the desired nutritional value.
  • The size of serving and shelf life must be considered.
  • Manufacturers will have to change the entire packaging and present the product as a new brand before the consumers.
  • The cycle of production will go through a significant change.
  • Cost-effectiveness is a major aspect of consideration for manufacturers.

The Desired Amount of Nutrients in Fortified Premixes

Manufacturers will have to chalk down the quantities of natural vitamins and other nutrients that are already present in the food and then decide what kind of nutrients must be added and in what quantities so as to meet the claim the product is looking to make. This is a critical decision when using GrandFusion® products in your premixes. GrandFusion® is heavily concentrated nutrients from whole fruits and vegetables. 112 mg of the GrandFusion® fruit mix is equivalent to 25% daily value in 6 essential vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B1, and vitamin B6.

Loss of Nutrients in Food Processing

To hold true to the labels, formulators will have to ensure that nutrient loss in the production processes and treatment of the product is calculated in advance and taken into consideration while creating the formula for the premixes. Nutrient loss in processing has caused problems for formulators and food manufacturers for a long a time. NutriFusion® is the solution to this problem. Our stabilized nutrients are capable of withstanding the intensive heating and cooling of modern day food processing. Our GrandFusion® products also have a minimum two-year shelf life to keep your nutrients stable through distribution and retail.

Adding the Right Elements

Vitamins and minerals that are to be added must blend in with the distinct taste, color, and aroma of the product recipe.

Fortified premixes do nothing to change the texture or taste of the food product. Therefore, manufacturers get to introduce a new product that isn’t very different from other items their brand is known for. But, it will have all the nutritional perks consumers are looking for.

The push for NutriFusion® nutrient fortification is simple: the difference is natural. Our GrandFusion® products are blends of whole fruits and vegetables so that we can deliver complete nutrition in a variety of products. The big difference between NutriFusion® nutrient fortification and synthetic nutrient fortification is bioavailability. Our products have 100% bioavailability versus 10% to 20% bioavailability for synthetic vitamins. Why? Our bodies need complete nutrients from fruits and vegetables to function properly, so we easily absorb these natural vitamins. On the other hand, synthetics are chemical formulations trying to resemble nature, and are bodies do not entirely recognize them. If you are building a non-GMO or Organic food product, please reach out to learn more about our nutrient fortification process. Also, please visit your respective category below to learn more about our products!