Cereal fortification has been practiced in the industry for decades and most RTE cereals today are fortified with vitamins and minerals. In 1974 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed guidelines on cereal fortification that were later incorporated into a general fortification regulation (14). This regulation, along with other guidelines (15), serves as the cornerstone for cereal fortification. Cereal manufacturers today use the following guidelines for specific nutrient fortification.

1. The intake of the nutrient is below the desirable level in the diets of a significant number of people.

2. The food used to supply the nutrient is likely to be consumed in quantities that will make a significant contribution to the diet of the population in need.

3. The addition of the nutrient is not likely to create an imbalance of essential nutrients.

4. The nutrient added is stable under conditions of storage.

5. The nutrient is physiologically available from the food.

6. There is reasonable assurance against excessive intake to a level of toxicity.

Other factors considered when fortifying include the estimated frequency of consumption of the food, the target consumer group, current health issues, and the dietary role of the product.

Breakfast cereals therefore make a significant contribution to the overall diet quality of an individual through their ingredient and fortification profiles. They provide a logical way to translate dietary recommendations to increase carbohydrate intake and decrease fat consumption; at the same time they provide a means for enhancement of vitamins and minerals in the diet.

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