Vol. 7, Special Issue 1 (2018)
Rice fortification: Potential for improving micronutrient intake and steps required for implementation at scale
Author(s): Vikash Chandra Verma, Vivek Chandra Verma
Abstract: Food fortification has been used historically to improve the nutritional quality of the food supply. Deficiency diseases such as goiter and rickets that were widespread at the turn of the century rarely occur in the general US population because of fortification programs. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the 1940s and1950s established standards of identity for enriched staple foods (e.g., flour, bread, rice, corn meal) and specified levels of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and iron to be added for reducing deficiencies of certain B vitamins and iron to achieve the target of good public healthy early 1950. These cereal-grain products were considered to be appropriate vehicles for fortification because they were consumed by most of the US population and provided a significant percentage of the daily energy intake. Guidelines for food fortification have evolved as interest in adding nutrients to foods has shifted from prevention of deficiency diseases to broader issues of improving overall health and as concerns have been raised regarding over-fortification of the food supply with nutrients such as iron. In part as a result of debates about increased iron fortification the FDA stated that decisions relative to food fortification should be based primarily on clinical and biochemical data rather than on dietary data alone, as had been the basis of earlier proposed fortifications. Food fortification can lead to relatively rapid improvements in the micronutrient status of a population, especially of vulnerable groups. It comes at a very reasonable cost, especially if advantage can be taken of existing technology and local distribution networks. Furthermore, it does not require any behavioural change on the part of the consumer. Salt is a classic example. By making it mandatory by law to add iodine to all salt meant for human consumption, India is making significant progress toward sad dressing iodine deficiency disorders.
How to cite this article:
Vikash Chandra Verma, Vivek Chandra Verma. Rice fortification: Potential for improving micronutrient intake and steps required for implementation at scale. 2018; 7(1S): 1151-1156.