Impact of voluntary food fortification practices in Ireland: trends in nutrient intakes in Irish adults between 1997-9 and 2008-10.Br J Nutr. 2015 Jan 28; 113(2):310-20.BJ
Because of the discretionary nature of voluntary food fortification in the European Union, there is a need to monitor fortification practices and consumption of fortified foods in order to assess the efficacy and safety of such additions on an ongoing basis. The present study aimed to investigate the nutritional impact of changes in voluntary fortification practices in adults aged 18-64 years using dietary intake data from two nationally representative cross-sectional food consumption surveys, the North/South Ireland Food Consumption Survey (NSIFCS) (1997-9) and the National Adult Nutrition Survey (NANS) (2008-10). The supply of fortified foods increased between 1997-9 and 2008-10, resulting in a higher proportion of adults consuming fortified foods (from 67 to 82) and a greater contribution to mean daily energy intake (from 4.6 to 8.4%). The overall nutrient profile of fortified foods consumed remained favourable, i.e. higher in starch and dietary fibre and lower in fat and saturated fat, with polyunsaturated fat, sugars and Na in proportion to energy. Women, particularly those of childbearing age, remained the key beneficiaries of voluntary fortification practices in Ireland. Continued voluntary fortification of foods has increased protection against neural tube defect-affected pregnancy by folic acid and maintained the beneficial impact on the adequacy of Fe intake. Increased consumption of fortified foods did not contribute to an increased risk of intakes exceeding the tolerable upper intake level for any micronutrient. Recent increases in voluntary fortification of foods in Ireland have made a favourable nutritional impact on the diets of adults and have not contributed to an increased risk of adverse effects.