Food Fortification Current Affairs - 2019

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Government to prepare roadmap for distribution of fortified rice

Union Government has decided to prepare detailed roadmap for nationwide distribution of fortified rice through ration shops. Instructions also have been given to Department of Food and Public Distribution to implement distribution fortified rice. Decision in this regard was taken in meeting between Union Food minister Ram Vilas Paswan reviewed and NITI Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar for reviewing progress of rice distribution

Pilot Scheme: Fortification of Rice and its Distribution under Public Distribution System

Union Government (Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution) in February 2019 had approved centre-sponsored pilot scheme on “Fortification of Rice and its Distribution under Public Distribution System”. This Pilot Scheme was approved for period of three year beginning 2019-20.

Under this scheme rice is fortified with Iron, Vitamin B-12 and Folic Acid. Currently, it focuses on 15 districts preferably 1 district per State during initial phase of implementation. The operational responsibility for implementation of this pilot scheme is of states which fortifies rice for distribution through Public Distribution System (PDS).

National Summit on Fortification of Food inaugurated in New Delhi

The National Summit on Fortification of Food was recently inaugurated in New Delhi to address interventions in combating micronutrient malnutrition in the country.

The two day summit was co-hosted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in partnership with related central ministries/departments and development partners.

The Summit had brought together experts from nutrition and development communities as well as representatives from state governments, technical supporters, academics and donors to beneficiaries.

What is Food fortification?

  • Food fortification or enrichment is the process of adding micronutrients i.e. essential trace elements and vitamins into the food.
  • It is an integrated approach to prevent micronutrient deficiencies and complements other approaches to improve health and nutrition.
  • Food fortification does not require changes in existing food habits and patterns nor individual compliance. It does not alter characteristics of food and is socio-culturally acceptable.
  • It can be introduced quickly and can produce nutritional benefits and improve health of people in a short period of time. It also safe and cost effective.
  • This enrichment process has proven as an effective strategy to meet the nutritional needs of a large number of people across various sections of the society, including the poor and underprivileged, pregnant women and young children.

What is present status of food fortification in India?

  • The FSSAI has formulated a ‘Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2016’, a comprehensive regulation on fortification of foods in the country.
  • These regulations set standard guidelines for food fortification and encourage the production, manufacture, distribution, sale and consumption of fortified foods.
  • They also assign specific role of FSSAI in promotion for food fortification and to make fortification mandatory.