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Food Fortification in the Age of Personalized Nutrition

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

biofortified orange-fleshed sweet potatoes

Food manufacturing processes and procedures can at times lead to degradation, removal or omission of nutrients typically found in the original food components. This potential for a decrease in nutritive value has been known for decades, although it is now common to add nutrients back (i.e., fortify) foods to restore nutrient levels. The practice of food fortification has been a part of the U.S. food system since at least the early 1900s, although initially food fortification was systemically implemented in the U.S. to address widespread nutrient deficiencies, discovered among draftees in World War I.1,2 As an example, iodine was initially added to salt in 1924 to address the prevalent health issue of goiter, and was followed with the fortification of milk with vitamin D to address the formation of rickets in children.