So the Government plan to introduce the addition of folic acid to UK flour. Any thoughts?
We've been doing it since 1998 in the US.
Ditto Australia. (More recent though. I think.)
Here, organic flours are exempt. Might be the case over there, too, once all is said and done.
Here's the short version:
One of my first research projects many years ago as a summer intern was synthesizing folic acid derivatives!! It is an important nutrient and already is added to lots of food stuffs. The amount they are adding to flour won't have any impact at all.
Personally, I do not believe in addition and subtraction of substances in flour and other foods... I want to eat as much naturally prepared food as possible. Believe me, you will receive healthy outcome.
Here in India, I grow wheat myself and grind it in wheat meal without extracting anything as waste... At home, I filter the flour and make bread and other food items. They taste well and they are very healthy too.
While this message is an obvious ad, I still wanted to mention that whole wheat flour (which already has a lot of nutrients in it anyway) will not be fortified, only white flour, which is used for the typical cheap sandwich bread, particularly consumed by those of less fortunate background, who are also the ones suffering most from nutritional deficiencies.
Fortification of various basic food products is not designed for people who are already concientious about their health and have the means to prepare fresh, healthy meals and eat a good variety of minimally-processed foods.
It's there to bolster essential nutrients for those who are most at risk; it's one of the ways that a modern society can work to increase the well being of its members as a whole.
The fortifications that are most beneficial and justified are those that are essential for developing foetuses, which is why both folate and iodine are commonly mandated fortifications. In Australia, salt is fortified with iodine and I believe that bread sold commercially must be made not only with folate-enriched flour but iodine-enriched salt.
The reason this is justified is that deficiency in essential nurtrients can contribute to risks of birth defects before a mother might even know she is pregnant, especially if said pregnancy is unplanned.
This thread from about a year ago notes that King Arthur is no longer enriching their flour.
I would guess that includes Folic Acid, but I don't have a bag handy to check.
Thank you all. Interesting insight and experience shared, and a clear message received: nothing needing adjusting in my bread making.