The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has constituted a Panel on Food Fortification and Nutrition to identify critical nutritional gaps in the Indian diet in general and also in specific target groups.
The 11 member panel will frame final regulations on fortification of foods and prepare strategies to address malnutrition problem.
- The Panel will identify critical nutritional gaps in the Indian diet in general and also in specific target groups based on credible scientific evidence and diet surveys.
- It will review the standards required for all suitable food fortifying vehicles in addition to healthy dietary intake of sugar, fat and salt.
- It will define strategies to address nutritional needs of general population and vulnerable groups.
- It will also address regulatory and related technological issues, review proposals from industry using modern risk assessment methods.
- It will also prescribe standard test and sampling methods for effective surveillance, monitoring and enforcement of the relevant regulations.
What is Food fortification?
Food fortification 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. 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 are advantages of Food fortification?
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.
FSSAI is a nodal statutory agency responsible for protecting and promoting public health in India through the regulation and supervision of food safety. FSSAI was established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and operates under aegis of Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.