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Nation-wide failure of voluntary folic acid fortification of corn masa flour and tortillas with folic acid.
Birth Defects Res. 2019 07 01; 111(11):672-675.BD

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required all enriched cereal grains to be fortified with folic acid in 1998. In April 2016, the FDA published regulations allowing voluntary fortification of corn masa flour with folic acid to address the high prevalence of folic acid-preventable spina bifida and anencephaly among Hispanics. Our objective was to survey folic acid-fortified corn masa and corn tortilla products in the country using a national social media campaign.

METHODS

In January 2019, we conducted a social media campaign (#FindFolicAcid) engaging citizens nationwide to survey local stores for folic acid in corn masa flour and corn tortilla products. Photos of products and nutrition labels were shared with the researchers on various social media portals (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram). The posts were summarized for a descriptive analysis.

RESULTS

People from 28 states shared photos of 132 products, including 43 unique corn masa flour or corn tortilla products. Of those, only three corn masa flour products included folic acid: (a) Maseca Instant White (4.4 lb bag); (b) Masa Brosa Instant; and (c) Masa Brosa Instant Blue. None of the corn tortilla products were fortified.

CONCLUSION

There is a failure of voluntary folic acid fortification of corn masa flour and products nationally. Until folic acid fortification of corn masa products is implemented fully in the country, Hispanic women of reproductive age should take a daily vitamin supplement which includes at least 400 mcg of folic acid to prevent spina bifida and anencephaly.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Epidemiology, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, Georgia. Center for Spina Bifida Prevention, Department of Epidemiology, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, Georgia.Department of Environmental Health, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, Georgia.Department of Epidemiology, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, Georgia. Center for Spina Bifida Prevention, Department of Epidemiology, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, Georgia.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

31082001

Citation

Kancherla, Vijaya, et al. "Nation-wide Failure of Voluntary Folic Acid Fortification of Corn Masa Flour and Tortillas With Folic Acid." Birth Defects Research, vol. 111, no. 11, 2019, pp. 672-675.
Kancherla V, Averbach H, Oakley GP. Nation-wide failure of voluntary folic acid fortification of corn masa flour and tortillas with folic acid. Birth Defects Res. 2019;111(11):672-675.
Kancherla, V., Averbach, H., & Oakley, G. P. (2019). Nation-wide failure of voluntary folic acid fortification of corn masa flour and tortillas with folic acid. Birth Defects Research, 111(11), 672-675. https://doi.org/10.1002/bdr2.1518
Kancherla V, Averbach H, Oakley GP. Nation-wide Failure of Voluntary Folic Acid Fortification of Corn Masa Flour and Tortillas With Folic Acid. Birth Defects Res. 2019 07 1;111(11):672-675. PubMed PMID: 31082001.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Nation-wide failure of voluntary folic acid fortification of corn masa flour and tortillas with folic acid. AU - Kancherla,Vijaya, AU - Averbach,Hallie, AU - Oakley,Godfrey P,Jr Y1 - 2019/05/13/ PY - 2019/04/10/received PY - 2019/05/02/accepted PY - 2019/5/14/pubmed PY - 2020/4/28/medline PY - 2019/5/14/entrez KW - Hispanic KW - anencephaly KW - corn masa flour KW - folic acid KW - spina bifida SP - 672 EP - 675 JF - Birth defects research JO - Birth Defects Res VL - 111 IS - 11 N2 - BACKGROUND: The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required all enriched cereal grains to be fortified with folic acid in 1998. In April 2016, the FDA published regulations allowing voluntary fortification of corn masa flour with folic acid to address the high prevalence of folic acid-preventable spina bifida and anencephaly among Hispanics. Our objective was to survey folic acid-fortified corn masa and corn tortilla products in the country using a national social media campaign. METHODS: In January 2019, we conducted a social media campaign (#FindFolicAcid) engaging citizens nationwide to survey local stores for folic acid in corn masa flour and corn tortilla products. Photos of products and nutrition labels were shared with the researchers on various social media portals (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram). The posts were summarized for a descriptive analysis. RESULTS: People from 28 states shared photos of 132 products, including 43 unique corn masa flour or corn tortilla products. Of those, only three corn masa flour products included folic acid: (a) Maseca Instant White (4.4 lb bag); (b) Masa Brosa Instant; and (c) Masa Brosa Instant Blue. None of the corn tortilla products were fortified. CONCLUSION: There is a failure of voluntary folic acid fortification of corn masa flour and products nationally. Until folic acid fortification of corn masa products is implemented fully in the country, Hispanic women of reproductive age should take a daily vitamin supplement which includes at least 400 mcg of folic acid to prevent spina bifida and anencephaly. SN - 2472-1727 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31082001/Nation_wide_failure_of_voluntary_folic_acid_fortification_of_corn_masa_flour_and_tortillas_with_folic_acid_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1002/bdr2.1518 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -