Excellent source of vitamins A & D?
the reason why many fluid milk processors don't proudly state
"Excellent Source of Vitamins A and D" on carton labels
is because they fear being tested and found noncompliant. The
fact is, although vitamin fortification procedures for milk are
relatively simple to implement and follow, it appears processors
have a difficult time providing consumers with a properly fortified
from various analytical surveys, including an ongoing analysis
at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., support this theory.
Cornell survey, part of the New York State Milk Quality Improvement
Program, recently reported disappointing results that show little
improvement in fortification compliance as compared to results
from the first study published six years ago.
of milk samples analyzed [in 1996] indicate only 33% of the milks
fortified with vitamin A and only 38% of those fortified with
vitamin D met the current federal standards (100-150% of label
claim)," said David Bandler, Cornell professor of food science,
when he addressed attendees at the 1997 Oregon Dairy Industries
Conference this past April.
to the study, 61% of 184 samples tested for vitamin A were underfortified
and 6% were overfortified. Of the 146 samples tested for vitamin
D, 59% were under and 3% over.
vitamin fortification of milk to levels stated on the label is
essential," said Bandler. "Vitamin levels below product
label claims prevent the consumer from receiving the perceived
nutritional benefits of the product, while excessive levels have
the potential to be toxic."
if the consumer press gets a hold of this information, the milk
industry's reputation can take a hard hit. (Put this issue of
Dairy Foods under lock and key when you're finished reading it.)
standards of identity for lower fat milks become obsolete on Jan.
1, 1998. As a result, according to NLEA regulations for modified
foods, it will be mandatory that lower fat milks be fortified
with vitamin A to at least the level naturally present in whole
milk (1,200 I.U./qt).
improved vitamin testing procedures and with the current emphasis
on nutritional labeling issues, regulatory agencies are sure to
take a more rigorous approach to enforcing the standards,"
let's do this right, and set an example for the food industry
on label compliance.
ensure proper fortification, Cornell researchers suggest the following:
To prevent vitamin loss during processing, know if your vitamin
concentrate is oil-or water-soluble and add it at the right step.
Know the correct handling and storage procedures to ensure potency.
Avoid heat and light. Rotate stocks. Don't buy large quantities
and store for long periods of time.
Add vitamins after standardization and before homogenization and
Keep daily batch addition. Compare vitamin usage with volume of
milk processed. A metering pump is preferred to batch addition.
Calculate and calibrate delivery rate regularly. Inspect process
Limit the refortification of fortified rework.
A and D Fortification Levels (I.U./qt) Based on the standard for
milk (21 CFR 131.110)
Label Claim Acceptable Range Level for Public
2,000 2,000-3,000 6,000
D 400 400-600 800
Source: David Bandler, Ph.D., Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.