The present review evaluated the beneficial and adverse effects of zinc-fortified staple foods on health-related outcomes and biomarkers of zinc status in the general population. Seven of the eight trials included were from middle-income countries of Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America where zinc deficiency is likely to be a public health problem.
Authors found zinc-fortified foods may improve population serum zinc status if zinc is the only micronutrient used for fortification. If zinc is added to food in combination with other micronutrients, it may make little or no difference to serum zinc status. The effects of zinc fortification of foods on other health outcomes (zinc deficiency, children’s growth, cognition, work capacity of adults, or on haematological indicators) are unknown at this time. Given the small number of trials and participants in each trial, further investigation of these outcomes is required.