Back in the day, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in America determined that since the populace was eating so much processed carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, cereals that those companies who produced these items must begin to add nutrients to them. There are two types of this process: enrich and fortify.
Determining the difference between these two terms isn’t always easy. The Academy of Nutrition and Diatetics explains it this way: “Both terms mean that nutrients have been added to make the food more nutritious. Enriched means nutrients that were lost during food processing have been added back. An example is adding back certain vitamins lost in processing wheat to make white flour. Fortified means vitamins or minerals have been added to a food that weren’t originally in the food. An example is adding vitamin D to milk.”
Dictionaries have trouble with these terms. Enrich and fortify are both VERBS, but enriched and fortified are ADJECTIVES as in fortified juice and enriched bread.
“To enrich is defined as to improve something or make something better.
When you go to college and learn a lot of new facts and information, this is an example of a situation where you enrich your mind.
When you add extra vitamins to orange juice, this is an example of a time when you enrich the juice with vitamins.
When your uncle leaves you $500, this is an example of a time when you enrich your available cash.”
—YourDictionary definition and usage example. Copyright © 2013 by LoveToKnow Corp.
Fortify is defined as follows by Merriam-Webster.com:
: to make strong: as
a : to strengthen and secure (as a town) by forts or batteries
b : to give physical strength, courage, or endurance to <fortified by a hearty meal>
c : to add mental or moral strength to : encourage <fortified by prayer>
d : to add material to for strengthening or enriching <fortified milk>