Fortified Flour and The Bread and Flour Regulations 2012
By statute any white wheat flour that is milled in the UK has to have calcium carbonate, iron, thiamine/Vitamin B1 and Nicotinic acid added. After the war the government decided that white flour needed the same vitamins as wholemeal flour. For over 60 years we have added them to the flour.
The new EU labelling laws over-rode the UK legislation which made putting the vitamins in the ingredients list optional so they are now shown on our labels. If you need unfortified / unenriched flour then use Wessex mill French flour (the French flour is milled in France where they do not have to add the vitamins) or any of the wholemeal flours. Spelt flours do not have it added either as they are not classified as wheat.
The labelling on flour will probably look like this to show we have added additional nutrients into the flour.
Iron occurs naturally in wheat and is naturally present in all of our flours. We have a statutory obligation to produce flour with at least 1.65mg/100g of iron. Therefore, for those flours that do not have the stated levels of iron necessary we must add additional iron in the form of hydrogen reduced elemental iron powder. No additional nutrients are added to our wholemeal flours as they already have the required levels of nutrients. Our French flour produced outside the UK so does not have nutients added. Spelt flours do not have it added as they are not classified as wheat. The table below shows the estimated amount of iron present in various kinds of flour when sold. White flour has around 1-1.2mg/100g of iron following milling (The addition of iron to flour, J.Hinton, J.Carter and T. Moran 1967).
____________ Strong White __________Plain Flour __________ Brown Flour __________ Wholemeal Flour Iron (mg/100g)____ 2.1________________2.0__________________ 3.2__________________ 3.9 McCance and Widdowson's The Composition of Foods, 6th summary edition