We have heard for years about foods that are "Fortified" with various vitamins and minerals. From cereal to soy milk... What exactly is a fortified food and what is the dietary value of fortified foods compared to foods which naturally contain vitamins and minerals?
Fortified foods are ones where specific vitamins have been added back that were taken out during processing. For instance: breads are often fortified with iron and B vitamins because during processing they are removed. It is best to eat a diet devoted to whole foods with less processing to naturally take in these vitamins/minerals.
A new term: functional food is being used now. This is a food that has either a nutraceutical or phytochemical ADDED to enhance the nutritional nature of the food. Not all of these are closely regulated and/or necessary. This food category is in its infancy and we will cautiously watch to see where it goes. Examples of functional foods: calcium enriched orange juice, ginseng and echinacea in a juice, etc...