Fortification of foods (Canada)

The appearance of fortified foods is similar to that of conventional foods (e.g. yogurts, juices). They differ from these only in that nutritionally active substances such as vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients are added. In Canada, only certain foods either must or may be fortified with vitamins or minerals without any specific approval from the regulator. For example, flour has very specific fortification requirements in Canada, and it cannot be sold without those fortifications. Other foods that either must or may be fortified (in accordance with the Food and Drug Regulations) include without limitation breakfast cereals, simulated meat products, simulated poultry products, foods for special dietary use, formulated liquid diets, meal replacements, nutritional supplements and foods repre-sented for use in very low energy diets. It should be clear that these are very specific legal categories of food and are subject to very specific requirements. In addition to the above, another class of foods are Supplemented Foods. Supplemented Foods are effectively pre-packed conventional foods that do not fall within any of the other specific categories. These foods have added sup-plemented ingredients (fortifications). There are very specific requirements as to what supplemented ingredients can be added to what foods. In addition, there are quantity limits and labelling requirements. For added clarity, dietary supplements sold in the form of capsules, tablets, powders and concentrated liquids are not generally considered food in Canada but are sold in Canada as Natural Health Products (NHPs).

This is general information rather than legal advice and is current as of 30 May 2024. We recommend you contact a specialised food lawyer for legal advice for your particular circumstances to support commercial decisions which could impact your product or business.

Lewis Retik

Gowling WLG