corn tortilla, Mexican, nixtamal, micronutrients, fortification


The corn tortilla plays an integral role in the Mexican diet and is an ideal vehicle for micronutrient fortification. Approximately 60% of corn tortillas in Mexico are produced from nixtamal, with the remainder prepared from masa flour. A process for continuous fortification of nixtamal tortillas was evaluated in two commercial mills in Mexico. A commercial powder dosifier was used to add micronutrient premix containing iron, zinc, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin to nixtamal (1 g/kg) as it was milled. After training and preliminary sampling, mills produced fortified tortillas unassisted for four weeks. Masa flow rates over a four-day period were 10-12 kg/min in both plants. Premix flow from the dosifier showed good stability, with an average coefficient of variation of 1.6%. Initial results indicated consistency in the fortification process, with significantly increased variation during the four-week production period. Fortified tortillas had significantly higher levels of all nutrients tested. Micronutrient losses were < 11% in all cases except folic acid, which showed an 80% loss. Despite processing losses, fortification resulted in a nearly fivefold increase in folic acid compared with control tortillas. The new fortification process is technically viable and was well received by millers.

Original Publication Citation

Dunn, M.L., Serna, S.S.O, Sanchez-Hernandez, D. and Griffin, R.W. "Commercial Evaluation of a Continuous Micronutrient Fortification Process for Nixtamal Tortillas." Cereal Chemistry. 85.6 (28): 746-752.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


American Association of Cereal Chemists




Life Sciences


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science