Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has made fortification of edible oils a compulsory mandate across the nation reports F&B News. After actively having discussions with the stakeholders the regulator is to put forth a strategy soon.
Fortification Of Edible Oils
The Chief Executive Officer of FSSAI, Pawan Kumar told the publication that though the move has not been liable on companies as yet, but the time has come for mandatory fortification of edible oil. “Already 47 per cent of the refined packaged edible oils are fortified nationally. Food fortification is cost-effective and sustainable strategy. The cost incurred on food fortification is very little. The regime of fortification of edible oil should start soon. Transition is not difficult, and technology is easily available by both government and various bodies,” he said while speaking with F&B News.
“FSSAI also has a dedicated team at its headquarters to help with the process. Even groups like TATA and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) have developed programmes to help with fortification of edible oil,” he added.
Vitamin D Deficiency
The report further explains that the organisation, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) has found out that India’s 80 percent population is deficient in Vitamin D. The reports by GAIN says that less than 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) is consumed by the Indian citizens. This deficiency of Vitamin D is thus seen in 50-90 percent of the population while 61.8 percent has a sub-clinical Vitamin A deficiency.
“There are 27 countries across the globe which have already mandated the fortification of edible oil. These include Bolivia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria and Tanzania. According to sporadic studies, there is a high prevelance of Vitamin A and D deficiency in India,” says T Longvah, director in-charge, National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad while speaking to F&B News.
“Along with oil, we should look forward to and take into consideration the fortification of milk as well. Various milk cooperatives, like the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Amul, Mother Dairy, etc., are showing great interest. We are seeing significant growth in the fortified packaged milk segment. For instance, Prabhat Dairy has nicely covered the eastern region,” Agarwal tells F&B News.
“So far, 14 countries have mandated milk fortification. These include the United States, Canada, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Thailand, Finland, Sweden, etc,” adds Longvah. Agarwal says, “Both Vitamins A and D are very essential for our body. Thus, by slowly gaining more experience in the fortification of milk, the mandate might be for the fortification of milk as well.”