Flour fortification - can it stand up to the heat?

by Emily Buckley
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The following letter is in response to the October 2003 article, "Flour Fortification — still a long way to go," which was a part of the IGC Conference coverage, and can be found on page 56 or online with E-Archive #67451.

Dear Sir/Madam,

Your article on flour fortification in the October 2003 World Grain magazine is of interest. After we had introduced fortification of our maize meal some years ago, the Ministry of Health in Zimbabwe raised a number of queries on how effective fortification was, based on the heat which would be applied in cooking the food after fortification. If I remember correctly the comment they made was to the effect that almost all the additives being introduced would be destroyed if cooked at temperatures higher than 80°C (176°F) for a very short period of time. Samples were sent to Switzerland for testing, but the results were inconclusive.

We have continued fortifying the maize meal but have been hesitant to introduce it in other products in view of the questions asked and never satisfactorily answered. Salt iodization was viewed in a different light as it is normally added after cooking and the question of destruction of the iodine benefit was never raised.

Perhaps you would care to enlighten us as to the effect of cooking temperatures and cooking times on the fortification additives you listed.

Jonathan Baker

Director, Household Manufacturing

National Foods Ltd., Harare, Zimbabwe

(operates 12 flour and maize mills)