Enriching Flour, Enriching Lives: The Flour Fortification Initiative

20. Quality Implications
Millers planning to introduce a flour fortification programme may have concerns about whether some of the micronutrients added to the flour will have quality-related implications due to the nutrients' reactivity, or for any other reasons. For example, in order to fortify flour with calcium in the UK, calcium carbonate is added. This has been the case for many years and the industry has adapted well to the method of determining flour colour rather than flour ash as a measure of refinement. The industry has had to adapt because calcium carbonate increases the ash content of the flour appreciably, meaning that incremental
small differences in ash content are less discernible. However, when the same calcium carbonate is added to flour in hot and humid environments it reacts and alters the pH of the dough, interfering with the baking process. In such situations calcium sulphate is used instead.

Likewise, reduced iron is a popular iron source although it is magnetic and its bio-availability is only fair; however, it is very stable and does not promote rancidity. Ferrous sulphate is used in a number of situations when non-magnetic type iron supplementation is required. Its bio-availability is very good but it does promote rancidity in the presence of fats during storage.

21. Dependable Supply
This requirement is self-explanatory. Obtaining a dependable supply of premix can, however, be a realistic concern for those who depend on importing the micronutrients from suppliers overseas; they do not want to overstock, but they cannot always count on just-in-time delivery. However, reputable ingredient suppliers will not only guarantee a dependable supply but will also take responsibility for the consistent quality of their premix.

22. Accurate Dispensing of the Micronutrients
The reason why these nutrients are referred to as micronutrients is that they are required only in minute quantities, essentially in parts per million. This necessitates a high degree of accuracy in adding the micronutrients to the flour, which in turn requires a well-functioning and economical dosing technology followed by an inexpensive but dependable system of detection. It is understandable that for those who practise fortification or add flour improvers this is a routine and simple operation, but for those who are planning to carry out this process for the first time it can pose challenges. While some challenges may be real, many others are perceived and can be addressed adequately through proper dissemination of factual information. In this respect the following need further elaboration and description:
• Feeders
• Carriers and physical properties
• Homogenizing
• Detection


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