Food fortification, a potent way to fight hidden hunger

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New Delhi: A worldwide shift to fight hidden hunger wants to be launched by processing meals in a way that micronutrient shortages are adequately addressed. Micronutrients may be blended with staple meals like rice, oil, wheat, or maize flour, in addition to condiments like salt, for a very low value, mentioned specialists in a current webinar.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), hidden hunger happens when the standard of meals folks eat doesn’t meet their nutrient necessities, so the meals is poor in micronutrients such because the nutritional vitamins and minerals that they want for his or her development and growth. Deficiencies in iron, vitamin A and iodine are the commonest world wide, notably in youngsters and pregnant girls.

Two billion folks endure from vitamin and mineral deficiencies, mentioned the panel within the webinar organised by Hexagon Nutrition and ASSOCHAM.

Food fortification is a low-cost breakthrough with long-term social and financial advantages. As a part of broader nationwide efforts to fight power beneath diet, meals fortification is among the most cost-effective and dependable funding alternatives, mentioned the specialists.

According to Vivek Chandra, CEO, LT Foods and Co-Chair, National Food Processing Council, ASSOCHAM, the present Indian meals plate usually doesn’t ship the required quantity of vitamins and micronutrients. “The National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau also has time and again proved that apart from cereals and millets, the Indian households fail to have the desired amounts of Recommended Dietary Allowance. As per ICDS, the strategies adopted to address malnutrition and hidden hunger are nutrition and health education, dietary diversification and micronutrient supplementation. Food fortification is seen as a viable, scientifically proven, WHO-approved and cost-effective strategy to address the problem of malnutrition.”

“The status of malnutrition in India, nutrition awareness, changing lifestyles, increased costs of hospitalisation, and FSSAI Food Fortification regulations are some of the demand drivers for Nutraceuticals in India. There is a significant shift from buying nutraceutical products for specific health issues such as osteoporosis, arthritis, hypertension to immunity building nutraceuticals. Changing consumer behaviour in the country is also transforming the nutraceutical space. The inclusion of exercise, diet, use of over-the-counter medications, and dietary supplements is becoming a way of life and people have become more conscious of their wellness and preventive care,” Vikram Kelkar, Group Managing Director, Hexagon Nutrition mentioned.

The current webinar had a particular concentrate on India’s north-eastern states.

Devansh Yadav, IAS, Deputy Commissioner — Changlang district, Arunachal Pradesh, showcased a undertaking report on the consequences of intermittent iron-folic acid on malnutrition among the many Anganwadi youngsters in Arunachal Pradesh. Arunachal Pradesh being predominantly a rice-consuming inhabitants, the NFHS-4 survey means that 74 per cent of the inhabitants of kids are stunted, 17 per cent wasted, and 20 per cent underweight.

However within the management group, the utmost enchancment within the parameters of peak, weight and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) have been seen within the age group of 3-4 years as in contrast to 5-6 years, thus concluding that if the fortified meals is fed at an earlier age the outcomes are seen early, mentioned a assertion by the organisers.

Micronutrients delivered to lots via fortified on a regular basis meals like rice, milk, oil and salt have excessive potential to beat deficiency of those vitamins in a giant variety of folks and fight hidden hunger in India.

Megha Mandke, Senior Executive, Human Nutrition, Hexagon Nutrition shared insights on the statistics of the current NFHS-5 survey and the way meals fortification is the best resolution to fight hidden hunger. She additionally highlighted how meals fortification was an affordable way to deal with micronutrient deficiencies and that the price of fortifying Milk, oil, flour, ranges between 5 to 10 paisa per litre or kilogram.

Fortified rice, wheat flour, and double fortified salt are the important thing substances that goal to sort out anemia and micronutrient deficiencies in India as a result of a giant inhabitants of adolescents and girls in reproductive age teams are anaemic. Rice is an abundantly distributed staple and is related to sure processes like milling and sprucing which leads to the elimination of among the important micronutrients, subsequently fortification of rice permits us to add again the micronutrients making it really nutritious.

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