AN OVERVIEW OF IMPORTANCE OF ENRICHMENT IN FOOD PROCESSING
The nutritional status of the population is one of the important factors in determining the quality and productivity by a population, which in turn will affect, national productivity. In the long run, good nutritional status contributes to the social and economic development of a nation. However, many nutritional studies, particularly in developing countries, have indicated that certain segments of the population suffer from one or more nutrient deficiencies, which can have serious effects on their health and productivity. (Tannen baum and Young, 1979).
As in many other developing countries, three major nutritional (especially micronutrient) deficiencies are regarded as public health problems in Indonesia, iodine deficiency disorders, vitamins A deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia. The government of Indonesia has instituted programmes to cope with these three deficiencies of which is a food fortification programme.
Nutrient supplementation of foods was mentioned for the first time in the year 400BC by the Persian physician Melanpus, was suggested adding iron filing to wine to increase soldiers “potency”. In 1831 the French physician Boussingault urged adding iodine to salt to prevent goitre. However, it was between the first and second world wars (1924-1944) that supplementation was established a measure either to correction or prevent nutritional deficiencies in populations or to restore nutrients lost during food processing. Thus, during this period, the adding of iodine to salts, vitamins A and S to margarine, vitamin D to milk and vitamins B1, B2, niacin, and iron to flours and bread was established. (Murphy, 1996).
Currently, food fortification encompasses a broader concept and might be done for several reasons. The first is to restore nutrients lost during food processing, a process known as enrichment. In this case, the amount of nutrients added is approximately equal to the natural content in the food before processing. A second reason is to add nutrients that may not be present naturally in food, a process known as fortification. In this case, the amount of nutrient added may be high than that presence before processing.
Fortification also standardizes the contents of nutrients that show variable concentrations. A typical example is the addition of vitamin C to orange juice to standardize vitamin C concentration and compensate for changes due to seasonal and processing variations. Finally, for technological purposes, a preservative or colouring agents are added to processed foods.
Therefore, depending on the reasons for adding nutrients, objectives may be to maintain the nutritional quality of foods, keeping nutrients levels adequate to correct or prevent specific nutritional deficiencies in the population at large or in groups at risk of certain deficiencies (i.e., the elderly, vegetarians, pregnant women etc) to increase the added nutritional value of a product (commercial view), and to provide certain technologist functions in food processing (Borenstain, 1979).
According to these principles, currently in several countries nutrients are added to a wide variety of food carries, such as cereals, flours, bread, milk, margarine, infant formulas, soymilk, orange juice, salt, sugar, monosodium glutamate, tea, dietetic beverages and even parenteral and enteral solutions, most fortifying agents are vitamins and minerals and in some cases essential amino acids and proteins. These additions have helped to solve public health problems, such as salt iodization to prevent goitre (Tannenbaum and Marcel, 1979).
Several terms besides fortification are used for the addition of nutrients to foods: restoration, enrichment, standardization and supplementation (Tannenbaum 1979, Richardson, 1993).
Restoration is the addition of a nutrient to a food in order to restore the original nutrient content. Enrichments the addition of nutrients to foods in accordance with a standard quality as defined by food regulations. Both restoration and enrichment programmes usually involve the addition of nutrients that are naturally available or present in the food product.
Standardization is the addition of nutrients to foods compensate for natural variation, so that a standard level is achieved. Standardization is an important step to ensure a consistent standardized quality of the final product.
Supplementation is the additions of nutrients that are not normally present pr are present in only minute quantities in the food. More than one nutrient may be added, and they may be added in high quantities. As compared with restoration and standardization, fortification has a special meaning: The nutrient added and the food chosen as a carrier have met certain criteria, so that the fortified product will become a good source of the nutrients for a targeted population. Nutrients added for food fortification may or may not have been present in the food a carrier originally.
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
This seminar investigated the importance of food enrichment in food processing.