Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for August 17, 2006


Health Canada got back to me today on why riboflavin is missing from Quaker Oats:

Your email requesting information on riboflavin and breakfast cereals was referred to the Nutrition Evaluation Division. Thank you for your inquiry.

Vitamins and minerals that are lost during the processing of cereal grains can be restored and added to the final food product such as breakfast cereals. According to the table following Section B.13.060 of the Food and Drug Regulations (FDRs) thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, folic acid, pantothenic acid, magnesium, iron, and zinc can be added to breakfast cereals. The restoration is permitted only for those nutrients that are originally present in the cereal grain at significant amounts and that are removed or lost during processing. The intent is to bring the amounts of those nutrients back to an acceptable level (approximately that of the original content) in the food.

Since riboflavin is not considered to be present in significant amounts in cereals grains such as oatmeal, it is currently not permitted to be added to breakfast cereals. Foods such as breakfast cereals can also be fortified with vitamins and minerals that may or may not have been originally present in the food.

Historically, fortification has been done to address problems of inadequate nutrient intakes and to protect Canadians against nutritional deficiencies. Unlike certain nutrients, inadequate riboflavin intakes have not been identified in Canada. Thus, there was no rationale under the current regulations for allowing breakfast cereals to be fortified with riboflavin.

In March of 2005, Health Canada released a proposed policy and implementation plan for developing new food fortification regulations. It is proposed that Section B.13.060 of the FDRs be amended to provide for the addition to breakfast cereals of more vitamin and mineral nutrients, such as riboflavin, and at higher levels. The proposals for breakfast cereals are based in part on an effort to allow greater trade harmonization in this product category while ensuring safety.

Thank you again for your inquiry and we hope you find this information helpful.

Nutrition Evaluation Division Health Canada


August 17, 2006 - Posted by | Health | , , ,

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