Bakers and snack makers looking to fortify products will need to find the best formulations for their specific application to ensure the benefits are bioavailable.

“One overlooked aspect of nutrition is that of bioavailability, which can be impacted not only by the specific nutrient form but also the presence of compounds in foods that may limit absorption,” said Eric Ciappio, PhD and RD strategic development manager, nutrition science, Balchem. “So called ‘anti-nutrients,’ such as phytates and oxalates, are commonly found in plant-based foods. Phytates in particular can have a significant impact on mineral absorption. For example, just 10 mg of phytate can decrease iron absorption by 60% in human trials.” 

Chelated minerals, such as Ferrochel, an iron molecule bound to the amino acid glycine, makes it less prone to interference from anti-nutrients and has improved absorption relative to other iron salts, Dr. Ciappio said.

Henry Siemer, vice president, secretary/treasurer, Siemer Milling Co., said consulting experts can help with the many formulation questions that can arise. 

“Because of how complex baking is from a formula standpoint, how even small changes to the recipe such as altering the amount of water added, changing the type of sugar used or altering the amount of salt, formula questions are best left to the bakers who understand what end product they are trying to make,” he said.

Using quality ingredients is key to making the most of fortifications.

“The first step toward maximizing bioavailability of functional ingredients is to choose a supplier with quality, research-supported ingredients and formulation expertise to ensure efficacy,” said John Quilter, global proactive health vice president, Kerry Ingredients. “Both the ingredients and their formulations are key to ensuring maximum benefits.”

This article is an excerpt from the November 2022 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on Fortification & Enrichment, click here.