Guiding Principles for Discretionary Fortification

  1. The scientific justification for discretionary fortification of food should be based on documented public health needs, particularly on dietary inadequacy that is determined by assessing the prevalence of nutrient inadequacy in the population. Regulatory agencies should develop criteria for determining when the evidence of dietary inadequacy indicates a documented public health need for the increased availability of nutrients in the food supply.

  2. In situations where discretionary fortification is scientifically justified, intake data should be used with the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) to provide evidence, using a careful modeling approach, to explain how current exposure to the nutrient in question would be altered by discretionary fortification.

  3. Currently there is limited research on the impact of discretionary fortification on the distribution of usual intakes in the population. Consideration should be given to fortification with nutrients up to the amount for products to meet the criteria as “good” or “excellent” sources of the nutrients, consistent with the modeling approach described in Guiding Principle 12.

  4. Potential changes to certain long-standing discretionary fortification practices should be carefully reviewed because they may be central to the maintenance of nutrient adequacy in the population.

  5. The severity of the adverse effect on which the UL is based should be reviewed when considering discretionary fortification with a nutrient using the conceptual decision approach presented in Figure ES-1.

  6. Where discretionary fortification is scientifically justified for special-use products, the intended use of the targeted food should be the standard against which the nutrient content is assessed.

Value (% DV). Guiding Principles 2 through 10 are grounded in developing reference values based on a population-weighted EAR, where available, as the foundation for the % DV. If there has been no EAR set for a nutrient, the committee describes the use of the other reference values, specifically a population-weighted AI or an AMDR (see Chapter 5).

The Nutrition Facts box has limited space and cannot accommodate a large table of values, nor would such complexity be helpful for the consumer. Population-weighting is needed because the committee recommends defining individuals 4 years of age and older as

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