The photograph is credited to 123RF.
A nutritionist has predicted that the addition of a crucial vitamin supplement to the bread supply will result in more women being provided with it.
The addition of folic acid to the non-organic wheat flour used in bread-making in New Zealand is set to begin tomorrow, as it can help prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida in unborn babies.
The decision to fortify certain bread-making flours with acid in 2021 was made by Ayesha Verrall, the then-Minister for Food Safety, who emphasized the safety and importance of B vitamins for health.
“Folate is a natural component of food, and fortification with folic acid restores what has been lost during processing like flour milling,” she explained.
According to Dr Sara Mustafa, a researcher at Waikato University, this is significant in helping to prevent invasive disease.
She added: ‘Folate is much more easily absorbed as a supplementation form of folate, called folic acid.
“Breath for it enables it to reach a wider range of people from different socio-economic backgrounds.”
According to her, other countries have already integrated folic acid into their bread production methods.
“It’s of great importance, considering that we’re not as advanced as the rest of the world, with 80 countries already doing it, such as Australia and the US.”
According to Mustafa, it is a common practice to include vitamin supplements in food in foreign countries.
The president of Baking New Zealand was interested in observing the research behind adding the supplement to the bread supply.
The amount of bread a woman must consume to make ‘a difference’ was not sustainable, according to Bernie Sugrue.
He mentioned that if a woman is pregnant and requires folic acid, she could consider other supplements.
“It’s worth noting that the bread they would need to consume in order to benefit their needs is a substantial amount.”
The provision of fortified flour to bakers was a responsibility that Sugrue attributed to the flour mills.