What is the Point in 'Enriching' Flour in the U.S.?

I have a bag of pretzels before me. But I don’t have to give the brand name, because what is says is typical of things containing wheat flour in the U.S. The wheat flour in it has been “enriched” with Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin and Folic Acid. Fine then, these have been added to the flour because the government thinks a segment of the U.S. population might be deficient in these nutrients. But that is not my question. My question is, if the product has been enriched in these nutrients, why doesn’t it even mention these nutrients on the Nutrition Facts label? The only thing this product seems to have is 8 percent of the daily values for iron. Zero percent for Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Calcium. Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin and Folic Acid aren’t even mentioned.

What happened to the nutrients this product was enriched with? And what was the point in adding such a small amount that it didn’t even show up on the Nutrition label :confused: ?

Thank you in advance to all who reply :slight_smile:

Sorry for the hijack, but I notice 3 ads in french at the bottom of this thread.

So, I’m wondering : do other people see them too? Or is google ad system showing different ads to different people based on the IP address (I somehow doubt it, since on other threads, I see ads in english)

End of the hijack. Sorry for it, but I had to ask in this thread so that people could answer my question.

I’m seeing two ads for folic acid, and two for calcium, and all are in English. Looks like it may be targeting you specifically.

I’m not an expert and I’m going from memory, so maybe someone else will come along and fill in the details. But as I understand it, if something’s not made from whole wheat, they “enrich” the flour by adding vitamins to make up for those that are lost in the part of the wheat they didn’t use.

I found this in Zenas Block’s invaluable It’s All on the Label:

It’s a 1981 book so some of the details, especially about Europe, may have changed since.

And other sources dispute that all the missing nutrients are put back, although they not be as bioavailable in the new form.

The 1992 Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals by Elizabeth Somer gives this comparison of the nutrients in white compared to whole wheat flour.

White bread contains:
22% of the magnesium
38% of the zinc
28% of the chromium
42% of the copper
12% of the manganese
4% of the vitamin E
18% of the vitamin B[sub]6[/sub]
63% of the folic acid
56% of the pantothenic acid

clair. Normally I would cite you for hijacking this thread, but I understand why you did it. Your case would not be likely repeated. Posters from a country other than the US getting country-specific ads is interesting and timely. You might try posting the results of your experiment in the ATMB thread in which Jerry(the tech god) Davis is posting.


We try not to allow hijacks in GQ. This particular one I allow for the reason I cited.

samclem GQ moderator

They put in more folic acid now than they did in 1992; they upped the required amount in 1998 to prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida. Women who don’t get enough folic acid early in their pregnancies (early enough that they frequently don’t know they’re pregnant yet) are much likelier to have babies with neural tube issues. The number of babies born with them in the US has dropped significantly since 1998.

All I ever get is ads for starting a franchise for the Grand Knights of the Chicago Reader…(your location here)… Chapter

Gluten free of course.