Fortification means the addition to food of nutrients in such amounts that their final levels in the food are greater than those that were naturally present. Some of common foods which are present fortified with iron are commercial infant formulas, infant cereals and breakfast cereals.
Wheat is the cereal flour that so fortified most often but several countries particularly in Central and South America - also have programs for iron fortification of maize flour.
Cereals are the most widely used vehicles for iron fortification although many others, such as milks products, sugar, curry powder, soya sauce and cookies have been successfully used.
Elemental iron or iron salts may be added to RTE cereals by mixing the source of iron with the cereal ingredients before cooking. In some cereal systems, the iron can be added to the cooked cereal dough or mash before extrusion and cutting of the cooked dough into pellets.
Iron fortification in cereal
The word cereal is derived from ceres, the Roman Goddess of grain. The common cereal crops are rice, wheat, corn, oats and rye. The term cereal is not limited to these but also flours, meals, breads and alimentary pastes or pasta. Cereal science is a study concerned with all technical aspects of cereal. It is the study the nature of the cereals and the changes that occurs naturally and as a result of handling and processing.
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