Fortification is the addition of key vitamins & minerals such as Iron, Iodine, Zinc, Vitamin A, and Vitamin D etc. to staple foods such as rice, wheat, oil, milk and salt to improve their nutritional content.
What are the Benefits of Fortification?
- Staple foods are widely consumed. Adding nutrients to them is an excellent method to improve the health of a large section of the population, all at once.
- It is a safe method of improving nutrition among people. The addition of micronutrients to food does not pose a health risk to people. The quantity added is small and well under the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) and are well regulated as per prescribed standards for safe consumption.
- It is a cost-effective intervention and does not require any changes in eating patterns or food habits of people. It is a socio-culturally acceptable way to deliver nutrients to people.
- It does not alter the characteristics of the food like the taste, aroma or the texture of the food.
Vitamin D fortification
Milk and dairy products are the most common foods fortified with Vitamin D. Since milk is consumed by all population groups, fortification of milk with Vitamin D is a good way to address its deficiency. Nowadays, oils are also fortified with Vitamin D.
The Noon Assembly is supported by Food Safety and
Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
FSSAI runs its nationwide food fortification drive in its resource and support centre called ‘Food Fortification Resource Centre (FFRC)’. It is a resource hub which provides information and inputs on standards and food safety, technology and processes, premix and equipment procurement and manufacture, quality assurance and quality control for fortification of foods. FFRC's approach is to motivate, nudge and facilitate the food industry to adopt Food Fortification as a norm. This initiative follows the Joint Declaration by all stakeholders to fight micronutrient malnutrition through fortification of food at the National Summit for Fortification of Food, held on October 16-17, 2016 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi after which 5 national level workshops were held to build consensus amongst the country. The initiative is being headed by a team of Coordinators at the Centre who are driving the effort nationwide.