Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Vitamin D fortified bread

Fortification of non-fatty foods such as bread could be a feasible means to improve the vitamin D status, which is generally low in Northern countries during winter. Fortified wheat and rye bread were baked. The vitamin D preparation was water soluble powder delivered by Roche Ltd. resulting in a vitamin D content of around 12 microgram/100g baked bread. By chemical analysis it was shown that vitamin D was evenly distributed in the bread and was stable (did not disappear in the baking process).

The bioavailability of vitamin D in bread was tested on four groups of healthy women receiving:
1. 85g fortified wheat bread per day
2. 85g fortified rye bread per day
3. 85g regular (unfortified) wheat bread per day
4. 85gram regular wheat bread and per day, and a daily vitamin D tablet containing 10 microgram.

The study was conducted over three weeks in February-March in Finland where there is no or very little sunlight exposure. In groups 1,2 and 4 the vitamin D status (measured as the concentration of serum 25OHD) was improved significant, while no improvement was found in the control group (no 3). The study also indicated that supplementation (in bread or as tablets) was more effective on persons with a low initial level of 25-OHD.

It is concluded that the added vitamin D is dispersed smoothly in the bread and is stable and bioavailable. Fortified bread is a feasible means to improve the vitamin D status equally in all population groups, and it is safe as bread is not likely to be over consumed.

However, the appropriate (optimum) content of vitamin D in bread may be different in different countries. This must be studied.

Related information

Reported by

University of Helsinki
P.O.Box 27
00014 Helsinki
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