Key Considerations for Fortified Premixes

Tom Douglass, Tom Douglass

December 19, 2013

2 Min Read
Key Considerations for Fortified Premixes

Consumers are looking for more from the foods they eat; fortification is one way to give them that added boost, but many things must be considered when formulating products with added vitamins and minerals.

Consumers are more aware and informed about the foods and beverages they consume every day. They're reading labels and seeking foods for their families that give them better nutrition and health. Just as consumers are looking to avoid certain ingredients (e.g., sodium or sugar), 47 percent say they are looking for more foods and beverages with added nutrition from vitamins and minerals, according to International Food Information Council Foundation's 2012 Food & Health Survey. Fortifying foods and beverages with vitamin and mineral premixes offer manufacturers and marketers the ability to position products as premium or with added value. 

Manufacturers need partners who can help deliver on consumer needs by creating cost-effective fortification premixes that meet product specifications and deliver on the intended product features. While fortification has many consumer and manufacturer advantages, formulating with vitamins and minerals bring potential challenges.

What are some of the key things to consider when fortifying?

  • Type of product being fortified

  • Desired nutritional profile

  • Serving size

  • Shelf life

  • Packaging

  • Unique processing conditions

  • Cost-effective scalability  

Nutritional Profile

Formulators must consider the nutritional profile of the base food or beverage. The indigenous levels of vitamins, minerals and other nutritional elements of the base food are determined. Starting levels give formulators a baseline to calculate how much additional quantity of each nutrient must be added to arrive at the label claim of the finished product.

Accounting for Potency Loss

The anticipated loss of each nutrient, caused by processing stresses such as heating, pasteurization, baking or shearing, must be part of the formula. Additionally, shelf life stressors can cause certain nutrients to be diminished by oxygen, interaction with other ingredients and natural deterioration. The goal is to ensure that the food product at the end of the advertised shelf life will contain the nutrient levels printed on the nutritional facts panel.

Vitamin and Mineral Selection

Vitamins, minerals and other nutrients come in many forms. Care must be taken to select the form most compatible with the end product. Selection will be influenced by a product's pH value, its color, its aroma and other ingredients in the recipe. The quality of these ingredients must also be ensured.

Vitamin and mineral premixes can bring added nutrition to natural products by offering vitamin and mineral premixes formulated with the above mentioned parameters in mind. Formulators should work with customers upfront to gather  product details to ensure the blends meet the requirements.

Tom Douglass is director, category management food and beverage for the Food Market Unit of Corbion.

Originally published in INSIDERs November/December print issue.

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