A safe strategy for addition of vitamins and minerals to foods

S. Rasmussen, Niels Lyhne Andersen, L.O. Dragsted, John Christian Larsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Addition of vitamins and minerals to foods must be done without health risk to any consumer group. International expert groups have aimed at establishing tolerable upper intake levels (ULs) for vitamins and minerals although lack of solid data on their safety is a major obstacle to this work. In this paper, we summarize the existing ULs and suggest the use of guidance levels (GLs) set by others and temporary guidance levels (TGLs) proposed here, whenever no consensus UL has been established for adults. We suggest the use of body surface area ratios to establish similar levels for younger age groups. The levels are applied in a model for calculation of safe fortification levels for all ages.We have estimated the upper 95(th) percentile intake of vitamins and minerals from food in various Danish age and gender groups and suggest that a daily multivitaminmineral pill is included in the calculation of total dietary intake levels of all vitamins and minerals. By subtracting this dietary intake level from the UL, GL or TGL, we calculate the amount that can be safely used for fortification. Since safety must be assured for all age groups, the smallest difference relative to energy intake calculated for any age group is proposed as the maximal allowance (MA) for fortification with each nutrient. We suggest that the MA should be expressed in weight units per energy unit in order to distribute it equally between potentially fortifiable food groups according to their usual contribution to total energy intakes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)123-135
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • tolerable upper intake level
  • vitamins
  • food
  • micronutrients
  • fortification
  • minerals


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