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
AnguillaTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
Antigua and BarbudaMandatory----
ArgentinaMandatory----
ArubaTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
BahamasMandatory----
BarbadosMandatory----
BelizeMandatory----
BermudaTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
Bolivia, Plurinational State ofMandatory----
BrazilMandatoryMandatoryVoluntary
British Virgin IslandsTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
CanadaMandatory----
Cayman IslandsTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
ChileMandatory----
ColombiaMandatory----
Costa RicaMandatoryMandatoryMandatory
CubaMandatory----
DominicaMandatory----
Dominican RepublicMandatoryVoluntary--
EcuadorMandatory----
El SalvadorMandatoryMandatory--
Falkland Islands (Malvinas)TerritoryTerritoryTerritory
French GuianaTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
GrenadaMandatory----
GuadeloupeTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
GuatemalaMandatoryMandatory--
GuyanaMandatory----
HaitiMandatory----
HondurasMandatory----
JamaicaMandatory----
MartiniqueTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
MexicoMandatoryMandatory--
MontserratTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
Netherlands AntillesTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
NicaraguaMandatory--Mandatory
PanamaMandatory--Mandatory
ParaguayMandatory----
PeruMandatory----
Puerto RicoTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
Saint Kitts and NevisMandatory----
Saint LuciaMandatory----
Saint Pierre and MiquelonTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesMandatory----
SurinameMandatory----
Trinidad and TobagoMandatory----
Turks and Caicos IslandsTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
United States Virgin IslandsTerritoryTerritoryTerritory
United States of AmericaMandatoryMandatoryMandatory
UruguayMandatory----
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 info@ffinetwork.org.

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.

Contact

Events

XVIII Congreso latinoamericano de Nutrición 2018

11 November 2018

International Conference on Birth Defects and Disabilities in the Developing World

08 November 2017

Public Health Grand Rounds

17 October 2017

International Congress of Nutrition

15 October 2017

Risk of Excessive Intake of Vitamins and Minerals Delivered Through Public Health Interventions

04 October 2017

News

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

Laura Rowe Joins FFI as Deputy Director
17 April 2018

2017 Annual Report
21 March 2018

Wilma Freire, Research Professor at Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador #FFI15
05 December 2017

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.

Materiales disponibles en español