Bakers can increase the nutritional aspects of their products in many ways. One approach is to directly fortify through the addition of isolated vitamins and minerals. Formulators can also add ingredients that are inherently concentrated sources of vitamins and minerals.

That’s what Kellogg is doing with its new Pure Organic Crackers made with Cheese and Veggies. This better-for-you cracker is a good source (10% daily value) of vitamin D thanks to the addition of mushroom powder.

Bimbo Bakeries USA, Horsham, Pa., is rolling out Sara Lee White Bread Made with Veggies, which is baked with the equivalent of one cup of nutritious vegetables per loaf and fortified with vitamins A, D and E. The company uses a dehydrated vegetable blend of carrot, butternut squash, sweet potato and tomato. 

The Dietary Guidelines state that Americans fall significantly short of the daily recommendations for fruit and vegetable servings. That means people are missing the necessary nutrition they provide, including dietary fibers, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients.

FutureCeuticals offers a variety of fruit and vegetable powders that enable whole fruit and vegetable content claims. Blends can be customized to meet target vitamin and mineral levels, too.

“Formulating nutrient-dense healthy products should be a priority for brands and product developers,” said Brendan Kesler, R&D innovation director at FutureCeuticals. “Our program helps bridge the nutrition gap and makes it easier for consumers to eat more fruits and vegetables.”

Formulating nutrient-dense foods with whole food ingredients is not to be confused with fortification, which is all about adding extra nutrition through the inclusion of isolated nutrients. This is different than enrichment, a term associated with white flour. Enrichment is adding nutrients back into a food to compensate for loss during processing. In the United States, every pound of flour must contain 2.9 mg of thiamine, 24 mg of niacin, 0.7 mg of folic acid, 1.8 mg of riboflavin and 20 mg of iron in order to be considered enriched by the FDA.

Brainiac Foods, Fremont, Calif., developed Brain Bars, which are a grain-based snack bar with a brain and eye boost through the use of nutrient-dense whole ingredients and isolated nutrients. Omega-3 fatty acids come from the addition of black chia seeds. Tocopherols (vitamin E), choline and lutein are added in a purified form.

The gluten-free Fulfil Vitamin and Protein Bar from Artisan Confections Co., Brookfield, Colo., relies on a range of whole dairy ingredients for protein content, along with some vitamin and mineral additions. To ensure that specified levels are met, the company adds a nutrient blend containing eight isolated vitamins and minerals.

Such blends are referred to as premixes and are used by bakers to ensure consistency and quality, as well as to simplify the addition and tracking process. A premix is a multi-nutrient product in a single unit.

“Many bakers lean on premixes of the vitamins and minerals they are looking to incorporate,” said Jeff Hodges, manager, bakery, snacks and confections applications, ADM. “In certain instances, the use of premixes, rather than adding each ingredient individually, can help ensure even distribution as well as help reach dosage level targets, particularly for those ingredients added in small amounts. While blends are generally easier to handle, there is a benefit in adding individual vitamins or minerals, as it allows for a customization of nutrient levels on a case-by-case basis.”

This article is an excerpt from the March 2023 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on Fortification & Enrichment, click here.