Fortified foods to tackle malnutrition

Malnutrition isn’t just about acute starvation. Often, healthy-looking people are malnourished too, because their diet does not include the right micronutrients. In severe forms, such deficiencies can have serious effects. For instance, iron deficiency leads to critical problems during pregnancy, and not enough Vitamin A can lead to poor vision, infections, and skin problems.
To tackle the issue, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) released a set of standards and a logo last year. Since then, it has focussed on awareness- and consensus-building. Now, a number of enterprises will begin adding premixes of micronutrients to launch fortified foods. Smita Mankad, head of the FSSAI’s Food Fortification Resource Centre, told The Hindu that in the next few months, General Mills India, ITC, Hindustan Unilever and Patanjali will launch wheat flour, Adani Wilmar, Marico, Borges India, and Kaleesuwari Refineries are working on oil, LT Foods, DCP Food, and KKR Food are launching rices, and in salt, other brands will join Tata, which already has a double fortified brand in the market.