Being fortified milk means that it contains an added micronutrient. This fortification consists of vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients for the healthy development of individuals.
Milk is a liquid food that is obtained from animals and that produces derivatives such as cheese, butter and yogurt. Fortified milk is one of those derivatives, although it is a relatively new concept.
The objective pursued when fortifying milk is that children, the main consumers of this food, grow up healthy in the most varied social and economic contexts.
That is why milk fortification is usually governed by governments, concerned about public health. These order the addition of substances that are considered necessary to reduce a large number of deficiencies and diseases that can occur if these nutrients are lacking.
For their part, the companies that package the milk must comply with this addition of vitamins, since if they do not do so, they would be in breach of the law.
How is milk fortified?
1- Fortification with vitamins A and D
Milk is usually fortified with these two vitamins. Vitamin A is a nutrient that the human body needs for vision and normal gene transcription.
Vitamin D, for its part, promotes the absorption of calcium that is naturally found in milk and strengthens the immune system. This combination is important for building strong bones.
2- Iron fortification
Fortified with iron, this milk helps alleviate the consequences of anemia, especially in developing countries. This supplement in milk has proven to be more effective than other types of supplements.
3- Fortification with essential minerals, Omega 3 and polyunsaturated fatty acids
Less diffused, this milk helps lower blood lipids.
4- Uses of fortified milk
You can substitute ordinary milk for fortified milk, for example, adding to tea, coffee or chocolate.
It can also be used in soups, purees, and other foods and desserts, just like ordinary milk.
There is also the variety of fortified skim milk that has fewer calories.
5- Types of fortified milk
In addition to milk derived from animals, there is also the consumption of plant milk such as soy, rice, almond or chestnut milk. All these types of milk come in their fortified version.
6- Maternalized milk
Breast milk is the most appropriate for babies and children up to 3 years of age. But the industry has made fortified preterm milk that increases the number of calories in breast milk.
When the doctor advises, the formula can be mixed with breast milk with extreme hygienic precaution.
Despite this, breast milk has antibodies that are impossible to generate by chemical means, which is why it is irreplaceable.
School-age children consume the most milk and need these vitamins, especially A, for their development.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 250 million children under 5 years of age are deficient in this vitamin.
- Jacobs. (2017). What is the fortification of milk ?. 10/06/2017, from Livestrong Website: livestrong.com
- Rutuja Jathar. (2016). Is Fortified Milk More Healthy Than Regular Milk? We’ll Answer. 10/06/2017, from Buzzle Website: buzzle.com
- Rebecca Gillaspy. (2015). What Are Fortified Foods? – Definition & Examples. 10/07/2017, from Study.com Website: study.com
- Emily Watson and Dr Anne-Louise Heath. (2015). The role and use of fortified milk products. 10/07/2017, from New Zealand Government Website: foodsafety.govt.nz