The history and future of food fortification in the United States: a public health perspective

Nutr Rev. 2002 Jan;60(1):15-26. doi: 10.1301/002966402760240390.


For more than 50 years, the United States federal government has regulated food fortification. During this time, the nutritional situation in the United States has improved greatly, whereas scientific information about the role of vitamins and minerals in human growth and development has increased exponentially. Concurrently, government authority to regulate food fortification has declined. This paper provides a brief history of U.S. food fortification policy and describes the contribution of food fortification to U.S. nutrient intakes. The paper highlights future directions of food fortification in the United States in light of these important developments, and addresses the issue of risk and the need to balance deficiency and toxicity in a generally well nourished population.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Food, Fortified / history*
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Legislation, Food / history*
  • Nutrition Policy / history
  • Nutrition Policy / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Public Health / history
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration / history*
  • United States Food and Drug Administration / legislation & jurisprudence