Published Date - 11 June 2018 04:00:29 Updated Date - 11 June 2018 04:02:29

FSSAI Declares to make Fortification of Packaged Edible Oil Compulsory in India

FSSAI is planning to make fortification of edible oil mandatory across India. The country’s apex food regulator is actively considering this move and has held discussions with the stakeholders in the recent past. In a couple of months, it plans to put forth the strategy for the same. 

 Central government acknowledges Food Fortification as cost efficient and sustainable method for packaged offerings. This fortified edible oil is enriched with Vitamins A and D. So, it is an effective complementary plan to reduce the gap between daily requirements and consumption.

Edible Oils have a household penetration of over 99 per cent in India. FSSAI will also issue a logo for fortified packaged food for consumers to easily recognize the product. This strategy will curb malnutrition and will fulfill the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). Previous decisions does not bind any company to fortify their packaged products. Till date, around 47% of refined packaged edible oils are fortified nationally. Food Regulator Company is holding discussions with other stakeholders to implement this strategy in next couple of months.

FSSAI Fortification of Packaged Edible Oil / Fortified Food

Technology to fortify edible oil is easily available through govt. and other bodies. Moreover, FSSAI also possess a dedicated team at their headquarters for assistance. Several Groups like TATA and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) has already developed programmes for edible oils fortification

The sources to obtain Vitamin D from Diet are limited in India. Indian citizens are unable to meet their daily requirement of Vitamin D by dietary diversification. Moreover, Vitamin A deficiency is also prevalent in India. Therefore, fortification of packaged edible oils is necessary as per the Standards of Oil Fortification. 2 Indian States – Rajasthan and Haryana have already made the fortification of edible oils compulsory.

 

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,” “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..

“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.”

GAIN organization Reports describes the following scenario in India:-

  • 80% of the total population consumes less than 50% of Recommended Daily Allowance.
  • 50% to 90% population is suffering from Vitamin D Deficiency.
  • 61.8% of population has sub-clinical Vitamin A Deficiency.
 

This initiative of fortification of edible oils is already taken up by several other countries. Fortied Packaged Edible Oils are compulsory in 27 countries across the globe including Bolivia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria and Tanzania.

Fortified Milk Scheme – Compulsory Fortification of Milk in 2nd Phase

FSSAI is also planning for mandatory fortification of milk in the second phase. This plan will enable various milk cooperatives like National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Amul, Mother Dairy etc. to sell fortified packaged milk to consumers. Till date, 14 countries have made milk fortification compulsory including USA, Canada, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Thailand, Finland, Sweden.

Need For Vitamin A & D in Packaged Edible Oils & Milk                   

Both Vitamin A and D forms an essential part of human body. So, fortification of edible oils and milk will be beneficial for the entire population. Previously, FSSAI has put out standards and guidelines for the Fortification Process and also issued a logo to easily recognize the fortified products.

Many renowned companies are eager to adopt and implement food (milk and oil) fortification techniques. Central govt. also provides assistance for fortification through schemes like Mid Day Meal Scheme. FSSAI is also focussing on fortification of other staples such as rice, wheat and salt.

References

— See circular and orders on Oil Fortification – FSSAI Circular’s & Orders

— For more details, visit the official website – http://ffrc.fssai.gov.in/ffrc/home

 


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