Tackling a Hidden Pandemic: The Essential Role of Food Fortification

By Felistus Mutambi and Oliver Camp, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) Over recent months, the nutrition community has been working hard to mitigate against the COVID-19 pandemic adding fuel to the fire that is the hunger crisis. In fact, the WFP estimates that the number of people living in acute food insecurity could double by the end of 2020, so we must redouble our efforts to protect the most vulnerable. As we do so, it is critically important that we focus not only on ensuring sufficient energy and protein,…

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Crown Flour Mills establishes vitamin premix facility, eyes 90% food fortification compliance

NIGERIA – Crown Flour Mills, Nigerian subsidiary of multinational food and agribusiness company Olam International has established a state-of-the-art vitamin premix facility to steer its food fortification efforts. A first of its kind by any flour miller in the West African country, the complex was established with technical support from the international non-profit organization Technoserve, under its Strengthening African Processors of Fortified Foods programme. According to Crown Flour Mills the facility will enable it to attain the 90% food fortification compliance target, aimed to provide Nigerians with wide access to…

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Nigerian food processing companies make remarkable progress in availing fortified staple foods to consumers

NIGERIA – Nigeria’s food processing companies have made a significant progress in fortifying staple foods with micronutrients that are essential to achieving better health and nutrition for all, reaching more than 90 percent of the Nigerian population in the last 3 years. This was revealed by Technoserve, at the 3rd yearly Nigeria Food Processing and Leadership Forum, which was chaired by Alhaji Aliko Dangote. According to data presented by the international non-governmental organization, from 2017 to 2020, the population reached with wheat flour fortified with iron and folic acid increased…

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Tanzania in partnership with Nutrition International develops bio-fortification guide

TANZANIA – The government of Tanzania has released the national bio-fortification guidelines to address malnutrition challenge in the country. The guidelines, according to reports by Daily News Tz, will be disseminated by the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) in collaboration with Nutrition International, providing stakeholders with guidance on managing their crop value chain activities. They are intended for use by implementors in planning, management, production, processing, storage, marketing and utilization of biofortified products at all levels. The MOA led the development of the guidelines with financial support and technical assistance from…

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Bangladesh, WFP introduce subsidized fortified rice to curb malnutrition among low-income citizens

BANGLADESH – The government of Bangladesh in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme has rolled out an initiative to provide subsidized fortified rice to low-income earning citizen through its Open Market Sale (OMS) program. Nutrition International (NI) and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) are supporting the advocacy for fortified rice in the program. The OMS is a public food distribution program, which sells rice at subsidized prices around the year, when and where necessary for stabilizing the market price and to support the low-income population. The initiative…

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FDA Rwanda proposes fortification of locally processed foods

RWANDA – The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) of Rwanda has put forth new regulatory guidelines governing processing of local foods aimed at increasing food fortification and tackle malnutrition. The proposal seeking to make it mandatory to fortify maize flour, wheat flour, cooking oil, salt and sugar is set to be implemented next month. The guidelines according to the regulator, were completed following discussions with processors on the existing gaps among local industries.  “We are doing this to boost the standards of our products so they increasingly reach the international…

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Gaps persist in Zambia’s food fortification system, study suggests

ZAMBIA – A study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that most fortified sugar sold at retail outlets in one Zambian community did not contain the minimum amount of vitamin A required by the government. Only 11 percent of sugar tested met the required minimum concentration of vitamin A. Food fortification of staples like sugar, milk and salt ensure that people get essential nutrients. Zambia has required sugar fortification since 1998 to address high levels of vitamin A deficiency, which increases the risk of…

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