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Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume 2012, Article ID 492353, 7 pages
Research Article

Estimates of Total Dietary Folic Acid Intake in the Australian Population Following Mandatory Folic Acid Fortification of Bread

Food Composition Evaluation and Modelling Section, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), 55 Blackall Street, Barton Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Received 13 January 2012; Revised 17 April 2012; Accepted 13 June 2012

Academic Editor: Vieno Piironen

Copyright © 2012 Jacinta Dugbaza and Judy Cunningham. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mandatory folic acid fortification of wheat flour for making bread was implemented in Australia in September 2009, to improve the dietary folate status of women of child-bearing age, and help reduce the incidence of neural tube defects in the population. This paper presents estimates of folic acid intake in the target population and other subgroups of the Australian population following implementation of the mandatory folic acid fortification standard. In June/July 2010 one hundred samples from seven bread categories were purchased from around the country and individually analysed for the amount of folic acid they contained. A modification to the triple enzyme microbiological method was used to measure folic acid in the individual bread samples. The folic acid analytical values together with national food consumption data were used to generate estimates of the population’s folic acid intake from fortified foods. Food Standards Australia New Zealand’s (FSANZ) custom-built dietary modelling program (DIAMOND) was used for the estimates. The mean amount of folic acid found in white bread was 200 μg/100 g which demonstrated that folic-acid-fortified wheat flour was used to bake the bread. The intake estimates indicated an increase in mean folic acid intake of 159 μg per day for the target group. Other sub-groups of the population also showed increases in estimated mean daily intake of folic acid.