US bakery group Sara Lee has launched a line of fortified breads to take advantage of strong consumer demand for healthier products.

The company said its new Earth Grains Extra Fiber wholegrain breads, which hit supermarket shelves this week, are fortified with folic acid, vitamin D and calcium.

Folic acid is key for the prevention of birth defects and a potential contributor to cardiovascular health. Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium to maintain bone health.

The bread is available in three varieties - 100% Whole Wheat, 100% Whole Wheat Made With Honey, and 100% Multi-Grain.

"Consumer demand for wholegrain breads is soaring, and Sara Lee Bakery Group is proud to be the first to offer the benefits of even more nutritious wholegrain products," said Sara Lee's director of product nutrition, Frances Coletta.

In addition to the three new Earth Grains breads, six other flavour varieties of Earth Grains sandwich breads have been reformulated and now include both vitamin D and calcium. The six reformulated breads - 100% Stone Ground Whole Wheat, Honey Whole Grains, Honey Wheat Berry, Buttermilk, Potato, and Oat & Nut - will be available in grocery stores 15 November.