"Flour millers must by law add folic acid (a synthetic form of the vitamin folate) to most bread products sold in Australia, but a looming global shortfall will make it more costly – potentially impossible – for manufacturers to buy in future."
Australia's "chief medical officer Professor Chris Baggoley issued a statement this week warning of future shortages, potentially until early 2017.
There is also a low risk of anaemia (a deficiency in the number or quality of red blood cells) in either gender (My emphaisis), though the vast majority of people obtain enough of the natural form of the vitamin in their diet.
To reduce reliance on fortified bread, consumers were reminded to eat these folate-rich foods, which include dark green vegetables; fresh fruit; legumes such as chickpeas; and lentils and peas.
'Those natural folates are actually the ideal form of this vitamin'," Dr Rosemary Stanton, who helped develop national dietary guidelines, said.
The addition of factory-made folate to bread is not without controversy.
Deakin University nutrition researcher Dr Mark Lawrence "who undertook doctoral research on the topic said folic acid consumption can mask vitamin B12 deficiency in older adults."
The above alert may well amount to nothing, but for those of us that are anaemic, here's some extra incentive to eat more vegetables .
Photo: Broad/Faba/Fava bean flowering. Thousands of hectares have been planted with them this year where I live and now that they are flowering, there's a faint, but pleasant perfume in the air from all those millions of flowers.