Enrichment of Flour

In the 1930s, nutritional surveys conducted by the Department of Agriculture revealed widespread nutritional deficiencies of thiamin, riboflavin and niacin (B vitamins) in the American diet.  These findings prompted the fortification of certain staple foods.  The Food and Nutrition Board recommended a program for fortifying white flour and white bread with thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and iron, with calcium and vitamin D as optional.  

In May 1941, the flour enrichment standards were issued and finally adopted in 1943.  The standards were recently changed, and as of January 1, 1998, enriched flour now also must contain folic acid.  The enrichment of flour has no affect on its baking performance or caloric value.