The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Folic Acid impact?

Cellarvie's picture

Folic Acid impact?

So the Government plan to introduce the addition of folic acid to UK flour.  Any thoughts?  

idaveindy's picture

We've been doing it since 1998 in the US.

Dan_In_Sydney's picture

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:

  • Some segment of the population will hate it and will cling to any tiny fraction of the research and scientific opinion that supports their view. That segment will likely have some overlap with the segment that leans towards thinking vaccines cause autism.
  • Millers are also not going to be massive fans because it's an added imposition. Some here have argued that it's quite diffifult to 'dose' at the correct levels. Some even SAID they were not going to comply. It will surprise no one to learn that they did, of course, comply. Expect 'open letters' to be writen.
  • Folate is super important, especially for pregnant women (and especially in the early stages so sometimes before a woman might know she's pregnant).
  • It's debatable, however, whether the manner of folate enrichment is totally effective.
  • Something, something cancer. (That's just the way these debates always go.)
  • It won't change baking one whit.


AlanG's picture

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.

antiqueware's picture

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.





Dan_In_Sydney's picture


Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

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.

Dan_In_Sydney's picture

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.

Rock's picture

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.


Cellarvie's picture

Thank you all.  Interesting insight and experience shared, and a clear message received: nothing needing adjusting in my bread making.