Review of fortified food and beverage products for pregnant and lactating women and their impact on nutritional status

Matern Child Nutr. 2011 Oct;7 Suppl 3(Suppl 3):19-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-8709.2011.00350.x.


Fortified beverages and supplementary foods, when given during pregnancy, have been shown to have positive effects on preventing maternal anaemia and iron deficiency. Studies show that use of micronutrient fortified supplementary foods, especially those containing milk and/or essential fatty acids during pregnancy, increase mean birthweight by around 60-73 g. A few studies have also shown that fortified supplementary foods have impacts on increasing birth length and reducing preterm delivery. Fortification levels have ranged generally from 50% to 100% of the recommended nutrient intake (RNI). Iron, zinc, copper, iodine, selenium, vitamins A, D, E, C, B1, B2, B6, and B12, folic acid, niacin and pantothenic acid are important nutrients that have been included in fortified beverages and supplemental foods for pregnant and lactating women. While calcium has been shown to reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia and maternal mortality, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and manganese can have negative impacts on organoleptic properties, so many products tested have not included these nutrients or have done so in a limited way. Fortified food supplements containing milk and essential fatty acids offer benefits to improving maternal status and pregnancy outcome. Fortified beverages containing only multiple micronutrients have been shown to reduce micronutrient deficiencies such as anaemia and iron deficiency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / diet therapy
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / prevention & control
  • Beverages*
  • Birth Weight
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Food, Fortified*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases
  • Iron, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Lactation / drug effects*
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Nutritional Status / drug effects*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Factors


  • Iron, Dietary
  • Micronutrients