Lallemand is pleased to announce that, following EFSA’s earlier positive recommendation, on June 24, the European Commission has granted marketing authorization for vitamin D baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Therefore, bread and other yeast-leavened bakery products can now become even healthier foods for European consumers by being new daily sources of vitamin D when baked with Lallemand’s VitaD® baker’s yeast, a natural and vegetarian source of vitamin D.
The major source of vitamin D is exposure to sunlight. But now, more than ever before, world populations are living indoor lifestyles and increasingly uses sunscreens when outside. Therefore, it is becoming more important to acquire vitamin D through dietary sources. But there are only a few natural food sources of vitamin D, which explains why at least one third of the world’s population is deficient in vitamin D. In Europe, EFSA estimates that a large percentage of the population does not meet the recommended daily allowances of 10μg/day. In 2012, the mean percentile intake of vitamin D from foods among young children varied from 1.7 to 5.6 μg/day, and from 1.6 to 4.0 μg/day in adolescents. For adults, estimates of vitamin D mean intake from foods varied from 1.1 to 8.2 μg/day.
EFSA has approved a number of health claims for vitamin D which are only granted to nutrients following a rigorous evaluation process. These health claims are related to the importance of vitamin D to the normal absorption of calcium and to the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth, but also include the recent discovery of the crucial importance of vitamin D to the function of the immune system.
According to an Angus Reid survey conducted in 2012 for Lallemand in nine countries across Europe, a large proportion of European consumers (84 percent) believe that vitamin D plays a great role in maintaining or improving their health. This survey also offers an interesting new peek into European consumers’ views on vitamin D:
- The most common health benefits European consumers’ associate with vitamin D are bone health protection (48 percent), followed by cardiovascular health (20 percent) and immunity (20 percent).
- Food sources European consumers associated with vitamin D: Cod liver oil (41 percent), followed by salmon (38 percent) and milk (34 percent).
Gert Steenkamp, president and general manager of Lallemand Yeast Group (EMEA Division), commented that “Since many Europeans are not meeting their needs for vitamin D and new dietary sources are needed, the European Commission’s approval now gives the baking industry a unique opportunity to offer a solution to enhance the healthy attributes of bread, benefiting from the growing consumer awareness of the importance of vitamin D to the maintenance of the immune system and bone health, as recognized by EFSA”.
Lallemand baker’s yeasts rich in vitamin D is available in North America and South Africa and will soon also be available throughout Europe.