Lallemand remains positive on vitamin D petition
BakingBusiness.com, December 3, 2010
by Jeff Gelski

MONTREAL — A report on vitamin D and calcium recommendations issued Nov. 30 by the Institute of Medicine bodes well for a vitamin D petition from Lallemand, Inc. that seeks to increase the amount of vitamin D allowed in yeast-raised baked foods, according to Montreal-based Lallemand.

The I.O.M. set daily reference intakes (D.R.I.s) for vitamin D at 600 international units (I.U.) for people age 1 to 70 and at 800 I.U. for people over age 70. The levels compare to I.O.M. levels set in 1997 of 200 I.U. for people up to age 50, 400 I.U. for people age 51 to 70, and 600 I.U. for people over age 70. Upper intake levels for vitamin D generally doubled and were set at 4,000 I.U. for people age 9 and older.

“This increase in recommended daily intake should help our petition as it was submitted based on the previous, lower levels (200 I.U. per day),” said Jacinthe Cote, corporate communication manager for Lallaemand. “This increase should reduce any fears F.D.A. might have had of persons exceeding the upper levels (which are now 4,000 I.U. per day instead of 2,000).”

The Lallemand petition filed in September of 2009 proposes the food additive regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations be amended to provide for the safe use of vitamin D2 bakers yeast as a dual purpose nutrient supplement and leavening agent or dough relaxer in yeast-containing baked products. It seeks to increase the allowable vitamin D content of yeast-raised baked goods to 400 I.U. per 100 grams from 90 I.U. per 100 grams.

Ms. Cote said Lallemand is responding to a third round of inquiries from the Food and Drug Administration.

“Upon approval by the F.D.A., bakers will have a natural opportunity to achieve the levels of vitamin D necessary to make ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ sources claims, helping reinforce the contribution bread can make to a healthy diet,” said Jean Chagnon, chief executive officer of Lallemand.

An I.O.M. committee, after reviewing national surveys of blood levels, found a majority of Americans and Canadians are getting enough vitamin D and calcium.

Ms. Cote said, “The fact that the I.O.M. increased (tripled in the case of age group 1 to 50) the recommended daily intake would seem to suggest otherwise except that the I.O.M. is concerned about excessive mega doses that some people may be tempted to take supplements based on not yet sufficiently scientifically sound indications of benefits regarding reduced cancer, diabetes and other ailments that have been linked to vitamin D deficiency in some recent studies.

“The I.O.M. clearly favors choosing the right foods (e.g., milk) and thus there is great opportunity the bread industry should seize to be part of the food solution (which avoids the risk of excessive doses).”