Because B vitamins are water-soluble, beverage applications are easily fortified.
"The only real limitation you have in putting B vitamins in foods and beverages is the regulation on folate," says James Elliott, Ph.D., director of nutritional science for DSM Nutritional Products (www.nutraaccess.
DSM makes B vitamins available in both microencapsulated and crystalline form for a variety of food and beverage applications.
(www.lycored.com) also provides microencapsulated B vitamins. Microencapsulation helps make B more heat-stable, which allows the vitamins to be added prior to heat-treatment in the production chain.
Although research is ongoing regarding the role of B vitamins in chronic disease prevention, enhanced cognitive function and athletic performance, fortification of foods and beverages with these vital compounds is growing in popularity, providing manufacturers and consumers with healthy opportunities.
"We were very strategic in the B vitamin fortification of our Heart to Heart line.
"Our goal is to find out if lowering homocysteine with B vitamins will help."
Most B vitamins are found in animal products like meat, turkey, milk, cheese and eggs, but if you're not a big carnivore, not to worry; plenty of B's--though, notably, not B12--are found in legumes, whole grains and even some fresh fruits and vegetables.
"We now know that folate together with B6 and B12 lowers homocysteine levels better than any one B vitamin by itself," says Katherine Tucker, Ph.D., nutrition epidemiologist at Tufts University in Boston.
EN's Guide to B Vitamin Basics B Vitamin Functions Daily Needs Thiamin Helps convert sugars to energy; Men: 1.2 mg (B1) essential for healthy brain, Women: 1.1 mg nerve, heart and muscle function.