Folic acid is a B group vitamin that helps prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida in infants.

Iodine is a nutrient needed for the development and functioning of the thyroid gland, brain and nervous system, especially in infants and young children.

For more information see Monitoring the health impacts of mandatory folic acid and iodine fortification 2016

Mandatory fortification of bread with folic acid (in Australia only) and iodine (in both Australia and New Zealand) was introduced from September 2009 under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. Folic acid is added to wheat flour for bread-making purposes to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects. Iodine is added to bread (as iodised salt) to address the re-emergence of iodine deficiency in Australia and New Zealand. Bread labelled as organic is exempt from mandatory fortification with folic acid and iodine.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has undertaken a review of the health impacts of mandatory folic acid and iodine fortification.