Demographics come into play in promoting vitamins, calcium and folateNutrients may play pivotal roles in targeting grain-based foods to certain demographics. That’s because people in certain demographics need specific nutrients. Calcium may appeal more to women since statistics show osteoporosis affects more women than men. Vitamin B12 may be more helpful in products aimed at the elderly. Folic acid, long known for its association in the prevention of birth defects, has shown in a recent study to have potential beneficial effects on allergies as well.

Vitamin D recently has taken a starring role among nutrients people need. The Institute of Medicine has formed a committee to review dietary reference intakes for vitamin D and calcium. Some groups are pushing to increase vitamin D intake levels by double or more.

When adding nutrients to grain-based foods, the ability to withstand heat is a critical consideration. If manufacturers print on a product’s label how much of a nutrient it contains, they need to adjust for how much is lost in the baking process, said Abby Ceule, marketing manager for specialty ingredients for Caravan Ingredients, Lenexa, Kas.

Ram Chaudhari, senior executive vice-president and chief scientific officer for Fortitech, Inc., Schenectady, N.Y., added, "Baking temperatures may create issues with some of the heat liable vitamins. So manufacturers need to add antioxidants to minimize destruction. Other options that can be implemented to overcome this challenge is to encapsulate these ingredients or add heat-sensitive ingredients at a separate place with less temperature, such as in a coating, or by spraying on top of the product."

Using nutrients to target specific consumer markets serves as the foundation of the new Nutrivan line of ingredients from Caravan Ingredients. The Nutrivan line takes a two-pronged approach, Ms. Ceule said. Caravan customers may want a customized formulation or they may choose from a toolkit of six product options.

Nutrivan PN 1040, a blend designed to provide nutrients for women during pregnancy, contains such needed nutrients as calcium, vitamin D, folic acid and vitamin B12. The other five Nutrivan toolkit options target brain health, energy, heart health, satiety and bone health.

Fortitech creates premixes such as a blended system of nutrients, Mr. Chaudhari said. These premixes may help bakers achieve a set measure of nutrient activity.

"The challenges associated with premix formulations that incorporate multiple nutrients include the type of finished product as well as the desired taste, flavor and color of the finished product, solubility, bioavailability, pH level, safety/toxicity, interactions among various ingredients and stability of the individual ingredients," Mr. Chaudhari said.

Potential new vitamin D levels

Promoting vitamin D in a product soon may take on added importance. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, which is part of the National Academy of Sciences, in 1997 set adequate intake (A.I.) levels of vitamin D ranging from 200 International Units (I.U.) to 600 I.U., depending on age. Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (U.L.) ranged from 1,000 to 2,000 I.U. The Institute of Medicine committee may reveal new levels as early as September 2010. Groups are pushing for higher levels.

The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends all children receive 400 I.U. of vitamin D daily, up from its previous recommendation of 200 I.U. Data suggest the A.I. of vitamin D for adults should be about 1,000 I.U., according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade association representing the dietary supplement industry.

Vitamin D may be added to baked foods, but formulators should remember it is heat susceptible based on the severity and length of heat processing, Mr. Chaudhari said. Thus, adding a minimum of 40% more vitamin D will help to ensure that the amount stated on the packaging is accurate. Adding tocopherols also may help prevent vitamin D loss due to heat, light or air.

Lallemand, Montreal, offers Eagle VitaD yeast, which features high levels of vitamin D while retaining all the normal properties of commercial baker’s yeast. While the body may produce vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) from skin exposure to the ultraviolet rays from sunlight, vitamin D2 (ergocaliciferol) is derived from yeast, according to Lallemand.

Lallemand Eagle VitaD yeast demonstrates all of the normal properties of commercial bakers’ yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisia, and also allows bakers to achieve maximum vitamin D levels without the high cost and additional handling constraints of using a vitamin D supplement.

A rising use for calcium

Calcium has found its way into baked foods through its inclusion in reduced-sodium leavening solutions. Two examples are Levona from ICL Performance Products LP, St. Louis, and Cal-Rise from Innophos, Cranbury, N.J.

Levona leavening acids contain 19% calcium, said Barbara Heidolph, a principal for ICL Performance Products. Formulators may use Levona to achieve a "good source of calcium" claim in biscuits, muffins, tortillas and pizza dough. ICL Performance Products recently divided its Levona line into two formulas. Levona Opus, the original Levona leavening acid, has a slow, delayed leavening action that is ideal for frozen and refrigerated products. Levona Brio, a faster grade of Levona leavening acid, is ideal for cakes, biscuits, muffins, tortillas and baking powders.

This year ICL Performance Products also launched Cal-Sistent, an ingredient with consistent particle size to help it remain suspended in batters and doughs, avoiding loss during processing and reducing the frequency of preventative maintenance to remove calcium that is deposited on processing equipment. Cal-Sistent is especially ideal for formulations that have a significant targeted calcium load, such as nutritional bars.

Innophos offers Cal-Rise, which is no-sodium leavening for baking. It may provide a health claim of "good" or "excellent" source of calcium, depending on formulation. Cal-Rise may be used as a direct replacement for sodium-based leavenings such as SAPP 28.

Inadequate calcium intake is thought to contribute to the development of osteoporosis, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. About 10 million people in the United States have osteoporosis and almost 34 million more are estimated to have low bone mass, which places them at increased risk of osteoporosis, according to the foundation. Of the estimated 10 million people with the disease, about 8 million are women.

Children’s products also might be an opportunity for calcium inclusion, according to the 2009 International Food Information Council Foundation Food and Health Survey. One question in the on-line survey asked parents to name three potentially beneficial components they look for when choosing foods and beverages for their children. Thirty-nine per cent named calcium as one of the top three components, making calcium the top choice. Vitamin C was second at 31%.

For another calcium inclusion benefit, the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System that’s finding its way into the nation’s supermarkets takes calcium into account. The NuVal system evaluates nutritional criteria and assigns products a number from 1 to 100 with higher numbers representing more nutritional products.

For one example, a cereal with whole wheat, wheat bran, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, salt and malt flavoring scored a 31. A cereal with wheat bran, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, malt flavoring, calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate and salt scored a 54.

More good news for folic acid

Folic acid inclusion continues as a success story in the grain-based foods industry. Since the F.D.A. issued the mandate of folic acid fortification to enriched flour, neural tube defects (NTDs) such as spini bifida have declined by 26%, according to the March of Dimes. Bread, crackers, bagels, pasta, pretzels and tortillas are all examples of grain-based foods that may be made with enriched white flour to become sources of folic acid.

"Enriched grains are an easy, inexpensive and delicious way for women to get essential vitamins such as folic acid," said Judi Adams, president of the Grain Foods Foundation.

A study published May 12 in the British Medical Journal examined severe congenital heart defects in infants (see story on Page 19). Researchers from McGill University in Montreal and the University of Alberta in Edmonton investigated the effects of the 1998 government policy in Canada for mandatory fortification of flour and pasta products with folate. They identified infants born with severe congenital heart defects from 1990-2005. In the seven years after the 1998 folate mandate, they found a significant 6% decrease per year.

"These findings support the hypothesis that folic acid has a preventive effect on heart defects," the researchers concluded.

Another study found serum folate levels are associated inversely with levels of atrophy and wheeze. It appeared on-line May 1 in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and involved researchers from Johns

Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. They obtained data from the 2005-06 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in which serum folate levels were measured in 8,083 people age 2 and older.

Besides calcium, the NuVal scoring system also takes folic acid into account. Pasta with enriched extra fancy durum flour (niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), corn flour and egg whites scored an 82. Pasta with durum wheat semolina, niacin ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate and riboflavin scored a 57.

A new delivery for vitamin B12

People at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency include those over age 60, those with stomach problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and vegetarians, according to Emisphere Technologies, Inc., Cedar Knolls, N.J. Humans need vitamin B12 to form red blood cells, maintain a healthy nervous system and assist in immune response, the company added.

Emisphere Technologies recently announced plans for an oral Eligen vitamin B12 product. It involves a SNAC (sodium amino caprylate) carrier. An independent panel of scientists found the company’s carrier for its intended application to be combined with nutrients and added to food and dietary supplements as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS).

Eligen B12 acts as a carrier or chaperone and allows the vitamin B12 to get through the gastrointestinal tract and into circulation. SNAC is stable up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The company is in discussion with nutritional bar manufacturers, said Nicholas Hart, vice-president of strategy and development for Emisphere.

Companies wanting to add any needed nutrient to any product should involve several departments, Fortitech’s Mr. Chaudhari said.

"It is critical that R.&D. personnel be brought into the equation from the very beginning so that an optimum ingredient formulation can be developed," he said. "R.&D. also needs to work hand in hand with marketing so that each can benefit from feedback in their respective areas to create a winning strategy that ensures success from a branding and sales perspective."

This article can also be found in the digital edition of Milling and Baking News, June 2, 2009, starting on Page 21. Click
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