Grain Fortification Status in North, Central, and South America

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Children in Costa Rica are among the many people to benefit from the extensive food fortification program there. Photo by Thierry Leclerc on Flickr.

Costa Rica and the United States are leaders in global grain fortification as they are the only countries with legislative requirements to fortify wheat flour, maize flour and rice.

Most countries in the Americas began wheat and maize flour fortification several decades ago. We encourage these countries to review their standards. The levels of vitamins and minerals may need to be revised, the fortification compounds used may need to be changed, or additional nutrients may need to be added to create a desired public health impact. World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for wheat flour and guidelines for maize flour offer a starting point for these discussions.

Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and the United States have mandatory fortification of rice. Additionally, Brazil and Venezuela have standards allowing for voluntary rice fortification. See WHO guidelines for fortifying rice to improve the nutrition of a population.

The countries in this region and the legislative status of grain fortification are listed below. In this region, Nicaragua reports that more than 50% of its industrially milled maize flour is fortified even though it is not mandatory.

Click on the country name for more information.

Fortification Legislation Status by Country and Grain

Click on any of the column headings to sort the list by Country, Wheat Flour, Maize Flour, or Rice.

Country Wheat Flour Maize Flour Rice
Antigua and BarbudaMandatory----
Bolivia, Plurinational State ofMandatory----
British Virgin IslandsTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
Cayman IslandsTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
Costa RicaMandatoryMandatoryMandatory
Dominican RepublicMandatoryVoluntary--
El SalvadorMandatoryMandatory--
Falkland Islands (Malvinas)TerritoryTerritoryTerritory
French GuianaTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
Netherlands AntillesTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
Puerto RicoTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
Saint Kitts and NevisMandatory----
Saint LuciaMandatory----
Saint Pierre and MiquelonTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesMandatory----
Trinidad and TobagoMandatory----
Turks and Caicos IslandsTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
United States Virgin IslandsTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
United States of AmericaMandatoryMandatoryMandatory
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofMandatoryMandatoryVoluntary

Americas - Fortification Status

Our definition of the legislative status is:

  • Mandatory: Legislation has the effect of mandating fortification of one or more types of wheat or maize flour or rice with at least iron or folic acid.
  • Voluntary: Country has standard for fortification, but fortification is not mandatory.
  • Territory: Countries that are not listed as United Nations countries or observers or are not recognized by at least one UN country are listed as a territory.
  • Dashes in the table below indicate that no information is available. Please send missing information to

In updating or creating new policy documents for fortification, review these key topics (in English or Spanish) to include in legislation, standards and monitoring guidelines.



International Conference on Birth Defects and Disabilities in the Developing World

08 November 2017

Public Health Grand Rounds

17 October 2017

Micronutrient Forum

24 October 2016

Rice Fortification in Latin America

09 August 2016

Society for Latin American Nutrition Conference

08 November 2015


FFI receives $100,000 from Open Philanthropy Project
20 December 2018

Can You #FindFolicAcid in Corn Masa Flour and Corn Tortillas?
02 December 2018

¿Se puede encontrar ácido fólico en harina de maíz y tortillas de maíz?
02 December 2018

Revisión encuentra que los documentos de fortificación de países a menudo carecen de elementos claves
29 June 2018

Review finds fortification documents often lack key elements
29 June 2018

Regional Resources

Successful Fortification: Lessons Learned in Chile, Costa Rica, and Guatemala

Resumen de las Evidencias y Situación Actual de la Fortificación del Arroz y Lecciones Aprendidas de la Fortificación de Granos

Colombia achieves moderate coverage of fortified rice, but unproven technology makes impact questionable

Dinámicas de los sectores del arroz para lograr su fortificación: La experiencia de Colombia y sus lecciones

Monitoring of Flour Fortification: The Case of Chile

La fortificación del grano de arroz

An assessment of Dominican Republic's wheat flour fortification program

Informe que resume la situación actual con el monitoreo de la fortificación de harina de trigo que se efectúa en la República Dominicana.

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