ZIMBABWE – United Refineries Ltd, the agro products processor has adopted food fortification as a strategy to keep along the country’s nutrition policy as well as address global trends.

The Herald reported that the company which also produces brands in personal care, hygiene and value addition, has already fortified its lead-product, Roil Cooking Oil.

This development is in line with the country’s nutrition policy under the Zimbabwe National Nutrition Strategy (2014-2018) launched in April 2015 as a way of eradicating malnutrition.

The five-year national strategy aims at ensuring nutrition security through the implementation of integrated interventions within a broad public health framework that includes both nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive interventions.

Roil Cooking oil which was also rebranded to match modern market trends, is fortified with vitamin A and D, vital in fighting malnutrition, one of the most serious health problems in infants, children and women of reproductive age in the country.

“Roil Cooking Oil has a new look and feel. We are making it lighter to make it easier for consumer identification.

You have seen other brands evolving and we are doing this for our consumers to easily identify Roil products and for the evolution of the brand,” chief executive officer Busisa Moyo said in an interview yesterday.

According to research, undernutrition is accompanied with low birth weight, stunting, anaemia, underweight, wasting, Vitamin A deficiency, and Iodine deficiency disorders while chronic cases could lead to irreversible long term effects in children below the age of 2 years.

“Now, as URL we are not only seeking to be compliant but we actually believe that Zimbabweans deserve better nutrition because this affects the immune system, eye sight and many aspects of our health.

“And so, included in our diet now, we are making access easier to this fortified cooking oil. We also have our mealie meal, which is also fortified. We are making fortification part of our strategy as a company because we believe in nutrition,” said Mr Moyo.

He noted that the firm was focusing on health rather than just taste through investments in the fortification process driven by the desire to impact positively on national health requirements.

“We are doing all that with focus on health. In line with that strategy we want to bring nutrition, not just food. We want to add value to the food and play our role in helping our country to be a healthier population as this affects the ability of people to work,” he concluded.