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Figure 1 Trends in the amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, and iron in the US food supply between 1909 and 2000. Fortification of cereal grain products with thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and iron was initiated in 1941 and fortification levels were adjusted in 1973. The levels of iron were reversed in 1978 and then increased in 1981. Folate fortification began in 1998. Source of data: Gerrior S, Bente L, and Hiza H (2004) Nutrient Content of the United States Food Supply, 1909-2000. Home Economics Research Report No. 56. United States Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Alexandria, VA, USA.

the US food supply markedly improved following fortification of cereal grain products in the 1940s (Figure 1). Cereal grain products provided about 31% of the thiamin in the food supply in 1909-19 compared to about 59% in 2000; 14% of riboflavin in 1909-19 to 39% in 2000; 30% of niacin in 1909-19 to 45% in 2000; and 33% of iron in 1909-19 to 52% in 2000. Similarly, fortification sharply increased the amounts of folate in the food supply since its inception in 1998. Cereal grain products accounted for 23% of folate in the food supply in 1909-19, which rose to 35% in 1997 and, following fortification, jumped to 70% in 1998 and remained there in the most recent data of 2000.

An analysis of food consumption patterns between 1985 and 2000 among German children and adolescents showed that food fortification increased the intakes of several vitamins and minerals by 20-50%. In the case of vitamins A, C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and B6, fortification raised already adequate intakes from nonfortified foods. In the case of vitamin E and folate, inadequate intakes from nonfortified foods were increased to 100% and 80%, respectively, of reference intake levels (Figure 2). Fortified foods accounted for less than 5% of total calcium intake, 10-20% of iron, vitamin

Food Allergies

Food Allergies

Peanuts can leave you breathless. Cat dander can lead to itchy eyes, a stuffy nose, coughing and sneezing. And most of us have suffered through those seasonal allergies with horrible pollen counts. Learn more...

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