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Thiamin fortification

(June 2016)

Standard 2.1.1 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code requires mandatory fortification of wheat flour for making bread with thiamin. This requirement was first mandated in January 1991 to minimise the incidence of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, a potentially fatal neurological disorder caused by thiamin deficiency. 

Thiamin fortification of bread had not been formally monitored on a national basis since the standard was implemented in 1991. As part of ongoing activities to monitor the impact of implementing the mandatory folic acid and iodine fortification standard, surveys of bread in 2010 and 2012 analysed the thiamin content of the samples as well as their folic acid and iodine content.

The analyses indicated that the breads contained added thiamin in expected amounts, an indication of the use of thiamin fortified wheat flour in making breads sold on the Australian market. Analysis of pre-fortification intakes of thiamin by the population was not possible as relevant food consumption data pre-1991 were not available.

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Page last updated 6 December 2023