Food for thought: What is fortification?

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The Independent Culture
Fortification doesn't just happen to wines - it also refers to the addition of nutrients to foods. In the UK some foods - margarine and bread, for example - are required by law to be fortified.

Fortification replaces things that are lost during processing, adding B vitamins and iron to breakfast cereals, or vitamin A to margarine. Sometimes manufacturers fortify foods to make them appeal to certain consumer groups - adding vitamin B12 and iron to vegetarian products, for example. The process also reduces the risks of deficiency - adding folic acid to foods to help reduce the chance of foetuses developing neural tube defects.

There are a number of products that now claim to offer specific health benefits, sometimes called "functional foods". These include bio yoghurts and margarine enriched with Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oils). Manufacturers, however, are not allowed to make any claims that their food product can prevent, treat or cure a disease.