The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is working with the industry to understand the challenges being faced in promoting fortification of wheat flour, rice and double fortification of salt.
FSSAI said that the availability of fortified milk and edible oil has improved but the progress is slow in fortification of wheat flour, rice and salt. Fortification means deliberately increasing the content of essential micronutrients in food to improve its quality.
The FSSAI has set standards for fortification of salt with iodine and iron; of vegetable oil and milk with Vitamin A & D; wheat flour and rice with iron, folic acid, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin A and some other micronutrients.
The FSSAI is also trying to figure out regulatory concerns the industry might have as they go in for fortification. "Obviously when we go-in for fortification as per standards, we have to be monitoring an evaluation of whether we are getting the results, so for doing all of it we have established Food Fortification Resource Centre with the support of Tata Trust at FSSAI and we have a dedicated team working to promote large-scale fortification of these five staples in the country," chief executive officer Pawan Kumar Agarwal added.
“Despite government policy for fortification, the progress has been somewhat limited, except a few areas where excellence has been achieved largely based on initiatives of individual officers who have felt and recognised the need for fortified staples to reach out the benefit of fortification to the poorest of the poor”, he mentioned.
He shared his views while speaking at a conference on Nutrition and Food Security organised by Assocham in New Delhi.
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