Food Fortification is a scientifically proven, cost-effective, scalable and sustainable global intervention that addresses the issue of micro-nutrient deficiencies. In October 2016, FSSAI operationalized the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2016 for fortifying staples namely
Wheat Flour and Rice (with Iron, Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid),
Milk and Edible Oil (with Vitamins A and D)
Double Fortified Salt (with Iodine and Iron)
Edible Oil (with Vitamins A and D) to reduce the high burden of micro-nutrient malnutrition in India.
The ‘+F’ logo has been notified to identify fortified foods. Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2018 were notified in the Gazette of India on 09.08.2018.
Fortification is the addition of key vitamins and minerals such as Iron, Iodine, Zinc, Vitamins A & D to staple foods such as rice, wheat, oil, milk and salt to improve their nutritional content. These nutrients may or may not have been originally present in the food before processing or may have been lost during processing.
Deficiency of micro-nutrients or micro-nutrient malnutrition, also known as ? hidden hunger?, is a serious health risk. Access to safe and nutritious food is a must and sometimes due to lack of consumption of a balanced diet, lack variety in the diet or unavailability of food-one does not get adequate micro-nutrients. Often, there is considerable loss of nutrients during the processing of food as well. One of the strategies to address this problem is fortification of food. This method complements other ways to improve nutrition such as such as diversification of diet and supplementation of food.
India has a very high burden of micro-nutrient deficiencies caused by Vitamin A, Iodine, Iron and Folic Acid leading to Night Blindness, Goitre, Anaemia and various birth defects. According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4)
58.4 percent of children (6-59 months) are anaemic
53.1 percent women in the reproductive age group are anaemic
35.7 percent of children under 5 are underweight
Fortification is a globally proven intervention to address the much prevalent micro-nutrient deficiencies in the population.
Food Fortification has a high benefit-to-cost ratio. The Copenhagen Consensus estimates that every 1 Rupee spent on fortification results in 9 Rupees in benefits to the economy. It requires an initial investment to purchase both the equipment and the vitamin and mineral premix, but the overall costs of fortification are extremely low. Even when all program costs are passed on to consumers, the price increase is approximately by 1-2%, which is less than the normal price variation. Following are the various benefits of fortification of foods:
1. Nutrients are added to staple foods since they are widely consumed. Thus, this is an excellent method to improve the health of a large section of the population, all at once.
2. It is a safe method of improving nutrition among people. The addition of micro-nutrients to food does not pose a health risk to people. The quantity added is small and well under the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) and are well regulated as per prescribed standards for safe consumption.
3. It is a cost-effective intervention and does not require any changes in eating patterns or food habits of people. It is a socio-culturally acceptable way to deliver nutrients to people.
4. It does not alter the characteristics of the food like the taste, aroma or the texture of the food.
Fortification of staples mentioned in the Food Safety and Standards (fortification of Foods) Regulation 2018 is not mandatory. However, if any FBO wishes to fortify these commodities and use the +F logo, then they shall fortify their products as per standards specified under the Food Safety and Standards (fortification of Foods) Regulation 2018. The standards of any food products under “Food Safety and Standards Regulations’ prescribe for addition or particular vitamins/ minerals as a mandatory requirement of that particular standard.
Step 1: FBO has to obtain Fssai License/Registration Certificate before applying for endorsement of Fortified Products.
Step 2: After obtaining License, Food Business Operators must select ‘Endorse Fortified Products’ in ‘Licensing/Registration’ menu option to view the list of Central/State License in online Food and Licensing Registration System (FLRS).
Step 3: After that, License no. appear for endorsement. Click on ‘proceed’ option for the concerned License no. After proceed a declaration dialog box appears where FBO needs to upload Product Analysis Report and confirm for complying conditions of license by Selecting “I AGREE” option and then Clicking on “Submit” Button.
Step 4: After completing the declaration, the product detail will appear for that the concerned License Number then ‘Product’ needs to be ticked and the corresponding Brand Name needs to be entered and click on ‘Submit’ button.
Step 5: After clicking on Submit Button a “Certificate” will be generated with the product details and +F logo. Download the Endorsement certificate and +F logo.
Refer below User Manual for Endorsement of Fortified Products for ready reference.
+F logo describes that the particular food is fortified with micro-nutrients as per the levels specified by the FSSAI in the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification Regulations) 2018. To obtain the +F logo, an FBO must endorse the fortified staples via the Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS) system of FSSAI. Post the endorsement the open file of the +F logo will be available for the FBO for incorporating on the label of the fortified products.
To know more about Fortification Standards, Testing Method Manual, documentation required and procedure for endorsement of Fortified Products and Licensing Conditions,
For more information, please Chat with us Ask The Expert.
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