FSSAI to fortify staple foods for children in anganwadis, govt hostels

12 March 2021 | News

The staff of the Food Safety Division are also being trained in the fortification process Image source: Shutterstock Image source: Shutterstock

Children in government hostels and Anganwadi centres across Telangana would soon be provided fortified food. On March 10, 2021, K Shankar, Director, Office of the Commissioner of Food Safety made this announcement at a press conference.

According to senior officials of the Food Safety Division, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) would soon issue an Act mandating food manufacturers to fortify staple food products such as oil, milk, rice, and wheat.

Before it comes to fruition, the officials have taken it upon themselves to explain the process to food manufacturers as well as the negligible cost involved. The staff of the Food Safety Division are also being trained in the fortification process.

The team lead of Fortification at Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT), Gururaj Patil, said that a deficiency of micronutrients (minerals and vitamins) has consequences on society and that the mental and physical growth of children is also affected.

Ashwin Bhadri, CEO of Equinox Labs, said, “Micronutrient deficiencies can lead to visible and dangerous health disorders, but they can also cause fewer notable reductions in mental clarity, energy level, and overall capacity. This can lead to reduced educational outcomes, reduced work productivity and increased risk from other diseases and health conditions.”

Bhadri continued, “Fortification is beneficial to an individual at every point in life (from conception to ageing). Proper feeding practices in the early stages of life have a positive effect on the development of children. Fortification of commonly used food articles provides an opportunity for increasing nutrient consumption and has the potential to enhance physical and mental growth.

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