Food from Britain has played down fears that exports of biscuits and cakes could be hit by the mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid.

The FSA has recommended fortification of bread with folic acid to help prevent birth defects - but the matter of when it should be added during manufacturing is unresolved.

The FSA favours adding it at milling stage - which would mean all flour being fortified, whatever its end use. Biscuit and cake makers were warned this could hit exports to countries where fortification was viewed as undesirable.

But Simon Waring of FFB said fortification was viewed favourably in many countries.

"Key markets for UK food and drink exports - such as the US, Canada and a number of United Arab Emirates countries - already fortify their flour with folic acid, and many European countries, including Ireland, Germany and Poland, are debating introducing the measure."