8 JULY 2021: Changes to Folic Acid Fortification
The Government announced its decision to mandate the fortification of non-organic wheat flour used for bread making with folic acid.
This decision, to change from the current voluntary fortification of bread to mandatory fortification of flour for bread making, aims to improve health outcomes and health equity, while considering cost-effectiveness and consumer choice. There is a 2-year transition period for existing flour millers to make the necessary changes, ending 14 August 2023.
Read the Government's press release – Beehive
Review of folic acid fortification (consultation)
The health benefits and risks of folic acid fortification of food – Office of the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor
Guide to adding folic acid to breadmaking flour
By mid-August 2023, flour millers must comply with Standard 2.1.1 – 5 (a) Cereal and Cereal Products of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, which outlines that non-organic wheat flour that is sold as suitable for making bread must contain no less than 2mg/kg, and no more than 3mg/kg, of folic acid.
Standard 2.1.1 – 5 (a) – Cereal and Cereal Products of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code
New Zealand Food Safety has worked with industry to develop the guide Changes to rules around folic acid fortification of bread and flour to help you understand and meet the requirements of this standard.
Changes to rules around folic acid fortification of bread and flour guide [PDF, 381 KB]
Adding folic acid to bread
In 2014, the New Zealand Association of Bakers agreed to fortify 25% to 50% of bread with folic acid through a Code of Practice. The Code of Practice for Voluntary Folic Acid Fortification of Bread will no longer be valid once fortification of folic acid becomes mandatory, as the New Zealand (Permitted Fortification of Folic Acid in Bread) Food Standard will be revoked at the end of the 2-year transition period.
During this transition period, bread that is fortified with folic acid must meet the requirements set out in the New Zealand (Permitted Fortification of Folic Acid in Bread) Food Standard 2012. This means that until flour millers begin mandatory folic acid fortification, bread makers may fortify bread with folic acid.
New Zealand Permitted Fortification of Bread with Folic Acid [PDF, 188 KB]
Guide to adding folic acid to bread
We have a guide to adding folic acid to bread for bakers, retailers, and food safety officers. It will help you interpret and apply the voluntary standard. This guide can be followed until mandatory folic acid fortification is implemented. After this date, this guidance will no longer be valid.
The addition of folic acid and iodised salt to bread [PDF, 182 KB]
Labelling of folic acid-fortified food
Food that is fortified with folic acid needs to be labelled. ‘Folate’ or ‘folic acid’ must be included in the ingredients list where it has been added to food.
The following guide has been designed to help you get your labels right.
A guide to labelling flour fortified with folic acid [PDF, 383 KB]
Fortification of bread with folic acid – questions and answers
Find out more
Folate and addition of folic acid to food
Nutrient research – Folic acid project reports
Who to contact
If you have questions about folic acid fortification, email email@example.com