June 12, 2018
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has made fortification of edible oils a mandatory step pan India.
The Chief Executive Officer of FSSAI, Pawan Kumar said 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.
“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.
“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.
“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,” said Pawan Kumar Agarwal.
“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.”