Zinc and calcium fortification
zinc and calcium fortification Peter Ranum 11.11.97
zinc and calcium fortification Colin Mills 11.11.97

From: Peter Ranum

Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 09:45:24 -0500 (EST)

Subject: zinc and calcium fortification


Regarding Mike Golden's comments on fortification of atta flour in India, it certainly would be possible to include zinc in voluntary fortification of branded atta flour. But it is questionable whether zinc should be included in a general flour fortification program were that to be established in India or Middle East countries. The case for zinc is still in the process of being made. No country currently requires the addition of zinc and no one wants to be the first without first receiving the strong support of the medical and health community.

Regarding the suggestion about adding a calcium phosphate instead of the carbonate or sulfate, the problem is one of cost-effectiveness. Ranhotra and others have shown most calcium sources, including the carbonate, are all well absorbed when added to bread. The calcium phosphates, however, are 13 times more expensive to use that the carbonate. For a country the size of India, that results in hundreds of millions of dollars in increased cost, with no real nutritional benefit, in using a phosphate rather than a carbonate.

A similar situation exists with corn soy blend and wheat soy blend provided by USAID. Current specifications call for addition or high levels of tricalcium phosphate as the calcium source. The cost of this actually exceeds the cost of all the other minerals and vitamins added to these commodities. Significant savings could be achieved by using calcium carbonate instead, as is done with corn soy blend procured directly by the World Food Program.


Peter Ranum


From: cfmatrri.sari.ac.uk (Colin Mills)

Subject: zinc and calcium;contribution

Sender: ngonut-requestatabdn.ac.uk


Nutritional relationships between calcium and zinc and their influence on zinc requirement are considered in some detail in the WHO publication " Trace Elements in Human Nutrition and Health ". WHO/FAO/IAEA,Genneva,1997. Chapter 5 deals with Zinc and table 5.1 attempts to summarise the diietary cicumstances that reduce zinc availability and may provoke clinical evidence of zinc deficiency. Some are very relevant to your uncertainties about the introduction of calcium fortification

Best regards,


Colin Mills HANSA Unit Aberdeen