Europe expands vitamin D fortification for Canadian company

20 Aug 2021

Canadian ingredients producer Lallemand received permission from the European Food Safety Authority to expand the number of compatible food products in which its Lalmin Vitamin D yeast is permitted for use.

Lallemand’s vitamin D yeast has been approved for use in the EU since 2014, but its use has been limited to baked good products and food supplements. However, with this new approval, the company can now provide its fortified yeast to producers across 34 food categories, including protein products, fermented milk, diet foods, cereal, meat analogs and dairy imitations.

Europe expands vitamin D fortification for Canadian company

Currently, the Canadian company is also pursuing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to expand the permitted uses of its vitamin D yeast across 18 categories. Approval is expected in 2022.

Vitamin D is a nutrient in which Europeans are chronically deficient. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical & Translational Endocrinology, vitamin D deficiency occurs in about 20% of the population in Northern Europe and between 30% to 60% of the population in Western, Southern and Eastern Europe.

However, rectifying this deficiency at scale would require an immense amount of resources from animal-sourced foods that would generate a carbon footprint that few consumers would be willing to swallow. A recent Swiss study published in the journal Nutrients, found that it is impossible to obtain adequate vitamin D through dietary shifts alone. The study found that more vitamin D-fortified foods are a necessary part of the diet to achieve optimum nutrient levels.

When examining a baseline Dutch diet, researchers found that the food intake provided about one-fifth of the adequate intake of vitamin D from natural food sources and voluntary vitamin D-fortified foods. To reach optimal Vitamin D consumption levels, carbon emission and calorie intake were increased almost 3-fold and 2-fold, respectively. The majority of vitamin-D-rich foods are animal-derived, such as oily fish, meat, dairy and eggs.

Lallemand’s fortified yeast presents an alternative solution to increasing vitamin D consumption without increasing calorie intake or carbon emissions.

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