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Folic Acid In Flour Can Prevent Birth Defects, Says FDA

Update Date: Apr 17, 2016 11:59 PM EDT

The addition of folic acid to corn masa flour has been given a go signal by the Food and Drug Administration, an action which has long been favored by the Hispanic populace as it would play a major role in controlling the number of birth defects in their community.

Birth defects such as spina bifida can be averted with the introduction of folic acid prior to and during the first months of pregnancy especially since "masa flour" is a principal ingredient in Hispanic cuisine.

Hector Ramirez, General Manager of El Milagro plant in San Marcos, Texas, which manufactures Hispanic staples like tortillas and tortilla chips made it clear that building up their products will take longer than just a week as they will have alter the corn masa flour packing. The modification is said to undertake amid a span of 30 to 90 days, according to NPR.   

"We'll have to decide if it's a cost we'll take on up front or pass it on to the customer," Ramirez weighed down the pros and the cons of what will be a potential asset in the future.

"Customers now look closely at the labels. If they see non-GMO, all natural, and on top of that - fortified with folic acid, I think our customers would want that," added Ramirez who remained positive on the government's conclusion even if it took four years to be studied. 

Michael Dunn, a Brigham Young University food scientist, spearheaded this research which revolutionized the role of folic acid vitamin as a boost up to corn masa with birth defects in the Hispanic community being higher compared with others in the U.S. The FDA has now committed that 0.7 milligrams of folic acid per pound of corn masa can be added by producers at their own accord, as cited by Soylent News.

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