KENYA – The government of Kenya has drafted guidelines and standards governing the blending of maize and wheat flour by millers to strengthen the nutritional components of the products, reports the Nation.
According to a Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBs) technical team, the ministry of agriculture wants all flour to be blended by crops like sorghum, millet, and sweet potato with plans to hit the shelves in November.
A part of President Kenyatta’s Big 4 agenda, Flour Blending Initiative aims to contribute towards food security, improve nutrition and increase employment opportunities in Kenya through flour blending based on under-utilised high value foods by 2022.
“This multi-sectoral approach has been designed through a consultative process that targets a high-impact approach aimed at integrating and securing arid and semi-arid lands (Asals) in contributing towards national food basket,” Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri said.
Drafted by a committee involving experts and shareholders from both Processed Cereals and Legume Technical Committee and Roots and Tubers Technical Committee, the rules suggest that each flour sold will have 10% minimum content of the underutilised but high nutrient crops like sorghum, cassava and sweet potatoes.
The initiative has developed six standards requiring that maize flour be blended with cassava, millet and sorghum while wheat flour be blended with sorghum, cassava, and sweet potatoes upon the rules being gazetted.
Blending can be through a mixing two different milled food crops or their flours or blending grains before milling.
As part of the guidelines, no food colour will be allowed, the food product should be free from insects’ parts, fungi or dirt, musty or other objectionable odour that may render it unfit for human consumption.
The label should carry the information: “Blended wheat and sorghum flour or Blended sorghum and wheat flour’.
Other requirements for labelling of food for human consumption apply including country of origin and declaration of the percentage composition of the blend.