Cheese handles vitamin D fortification in study

by Jeff Gelski
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TORONTO — Industrially manufactured cheddar and low-fat cheeses are suitable for vitamin D3 fortification, according to a study that appeared on-line Aug. 13 on the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry web site.

"Considering the widespread insufficiency of vitamin D, the fortification of additional foods with vitamin D is warranted," the study’s authors said.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation, Washington, recommends that adults under age 50 get 400 to 800 International Units (I.U.) of vitamin D3 daily while adults age 50 and over get 800 to 1,000 I.U. of vitamin D3 daily. Vitamin D3 is the best form of vitamin D that supports bone health, according to the N.O.P.

In the study, vitamin D3 did not degrade during processing over one year of ripening or after thermal treatment at 232° Celsius (450° Fahrenheit) for 5 minutes. Recovery in cheddar was 91% of the vitamin D3 added to the milk used to make the cheese. Vitamin D3 recovery in low-fat cheeses was 55%. In both cases the remaining vitamin D3 was entrained in the whey.

The vitamin D3 was distributed uniformly throughout the blocks of cheese. The fortification did not alter the yield, chemical composition or flavor of the cheddar cheese.

The study involved researchers from the University of Toronto, Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ryerson University in Toronto, the National Research Centre in Cairo, Egypt, and Agropur Cooperative in Granby, Quebec.

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