Fortification : The Good & Bad Of Adding Healthy Things To Unhealthy Foods


For those who may not know, food fortification is the process of adding something to a food in order to increase its nutritional value. The Food Standards Agency describe it as the process of adding nutrients to foods irrespective of whether or not the nutrients were originally present in the food. A perfect example are some nutritional supplements, now although they aren’t strictly food, they do have ‘nutrients added to them that were not originally in the food’ e.g. USN Muscle Fuel Anabolic contains creatine, and PhD Nutrition containing powdered Flaxseed.

If we are being strict, then fortification is actually improving the nutritional value of a population, so foods that are commonly eaten are usually the target of fortification. Margarines (which are fortified by law), and cereals (which are fortified voluntarily.

This may seem all well and good, but is it? Don’t get me wrong, food fortification IS DEFINITELY a good thing, it can be used to top up nutritional deficiencies, but some companies seem to use it to make a food seem for healthful than perhaps it actually is. It’s great that a food has folic acid added to it to reduce the risk of neural tube defects in babies, but if the sugar content is particularly high (which it often is in cereals), then any good gleaned from the folic acid is negated by the bad of the sugar.

Once again, fortification is a good thing, but like anything… it has to be done properly to be of real benefit to us as the consumer.


British Nutrition Foundation, (2015). Fortification. Retrieved 10th June, 2015, from discount supplements

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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