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Flour: Folic Acid

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 148226, tabled on 28 March 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to bring forward legislative proposals on fortification of a range of staple foods and grains to help ensure that women of childbearing age are able to benefit regardless of cultural dietary traditions or preferences.

Answered on

31 March 2022

The Department’s decision to legislate for the fortification of non-wholewheat flour with folic acid was informed by the evidence and consultation responses. Bread is consumed by over 99% of British households and over a quarter of all groceries in the four biggest supermarkets contain flour, therefore it is an ideal vehicle for fortification.

Non-wholewheat flour is an already established vehicle for fortification and has been subject to mandatory fortification with calcium, iron, niacin and thiamin during milling for decades. The decision to fortify non-wholewheat flour with folic acid will minimise the burden on industry as it will avoid subjecting other types of flour to the existing mandatory fortification requirements.

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