The Legal Definition Of ‘Enriched’ Flour

(File photo: Joe Raedle/ Getty Images)

(File photo: Joe Raedle/ Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - If you bake, you probably use enriched flour. But, legally, what does that mean?

Students at McGill University just won a one million dollar prize for inventing a new kind of flour made from pulverized insect carcasses to help feed people in the third world. One can only imagine what second prize was awarded for. But before you get all high and mighty, do you know exactly what you’re getting when you buy ‘enriched’ flour?

The FDA’s regulations tell you. When grain is converted into flour, the bran and germ of the seed are removed but in the process, so are some nutrients. So when flour says it is enriched, it means it’s gone through the process of adding back nutrients. And the government regulations are specific; the process must add back specific quantities of thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, folic acid and iron.

Sounds fine. Oh, one more thing.

Flour is, by law, allowed to contain certain defects, which are contaminants in food that cause no harm to people if consumed. Guess what legal contaminant flour contains – no more than 150 insect fragments per 100 grams.

Perhaps the students at McGill should focus on getting the bugs out of our flour rather than in someone elses.

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