The detail of how folic acid will be added to baked goods remains unclear despite the Food Standards Agency (FSA) board’s decision last week to recommend mandatory fortification to health ministers.

The FSA hopes to decide at its next board meeting in June whether folic acid should be added at the flour or bread stage.

The issue of which flours should be fortified is also yet to be resolved. Questions still remain over whether all bread flours, including wholemeal, or just white and brown flours should be fortified.

The Federation of Bakers said that it supported the FSA’s recommendation. But director Gordon Polson said: "The Federation strongly advises that fortification of flour at the milling stage is the most viable solution. We welcome further discussions to reach a practical answer to the logistics of introducing folic acid into flour."

National Association of Master Bakers’ parliamentary officer Chris Dabner said the plans would cause labelling problems. "If folic acid appeared on labels, then would other statutory fortifications - calcium, iron, niacin and thiamine - be labelled?" he asked.

The FSA board was also asked to agree how it would control voluntary addition of folic acid to breakfast cereals and spreads.

l See folic acid feature, pg 19.