Effects of Processing

Vitamin and mineral contents may be profoundly influenced by processing. Vitamins and minerals are found at the highest concentrations in the outer bran layers. Comparison of the various whole-grain and milled products in Tables 10-12 shows that bran is richer in vitamins and minerals, while flour and meal fractions are depleted. Sodium may be substantially increased by the addition of salt (Tables 10-12), leavening agents, or other additives. Other minerals and vitamins are often added as fortification to replace, standardize, or augment the levels naturally present. Although white bread made from fortified flour has a lower mineral and vitamin content than wholemeal bread (Table 11), wholemeal bread contains higher levels of phytic acid, which will influence availability (see below). Cornflour contains low levels of minerals and only traces of vitamins. Cornflakes are fortified with a number of minerals and vitamins, including vitamins B12 and D (Table 10). The fortification of breads and other cereal foodstuffs with folic acid has recently become increasingly common.

Table 10 Mineral and vitamin contents of rice and maize (corn) products; representative values per 100 g fresh weight (water contents as per Table 3)
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