Food Fortification

FSSAI Role Function and Initiative – is the most important topic as per FSSAI Exam 2021 syllabus. in this post, I am providing “A General Understanding of FSSAI Role, Functions and Initiatives” detailed Notes and this is the Next chapter –Food Fortification.

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Definition of Food Fortification

Fortification is the addition of key vitamins and minerals such as iron, iodine, zinc, Vitamin A and D to staple foods such as rice, milk, and salt to improve their nutritional content. These nutrients may or may not have been originally present in the food before processing.

Need of Fortification:

  • According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS – 4):
    • 58.4% of children (6-59 months) are anemic
    • 53.1% women in the reproductive age group are anemic
    • 35.7% of children under 5 are underweight
  • Also, it is estimated that 50-70% of these birth defects is due to deficiency of folic acid.

Thus, fortification is necessary to address the deficiency of micronutrients or micronutrient malnutrition, also known as “hidden hunger”, a serious health risk. Unfortunately, those who are economically disadvantaged do not have access to safe and nutritious food. Others either do not consume a balanced diet or lack variety in the diet because of which they do not get adequate micronutrients. Often, there is a considerable loss of nutrients during the processing of food.

Food fortification in India has started in 1950 when vanaspati was fortified with vitamin A. in 1986, a national policy of universal salt iodization was adopted and subsequent legislation in 2005, both at the national and the state level, which prohibits the sale of non-iodized salt for human consumption.

Currently, the government is promoting fortification in the following 5 food items: Rice, Salt, Edible oil, Milk & Wheat.

Rice Fortification:

Department of Food & Public Distribution (DFPD) has been running a “centrally sponsored pilot scheme on Fortification of Rice & its distribution through public distribution system”. The scheme was initiated in 2019-20 for a three-year pilot run. This scheme will run till 2023 and rice will be supplied to the beneficiaries at the rate of ₹1 per Kg.

For rice fortification, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution is the nodal agency.

Wheat Fortification:

The decision on fortification of wheat was announced in 2018 and is being implemented in 12 states under India’s flagship Poshan Abhiyaan to improve nutrition among children, adolescents, pregnant mothers, and lactating mothers.

Edible Oil Fortification:

Fortification of edible oil, too, was made compulsory across the country by FSSAI in 2018.

Milk Fortification:

Fortification of milk was started in 2017 under which the national dairy development board of India (NDDB) is pushing companies to add vitamin D.

  • promoting food fortification has been a part of the 10th, 11th, and 12th five-year plans of the country.

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FSSAI Role Function and Initiatives complete notes

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