A Word Of Caution, Fortified Foods Are Not For Everyone
The FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) plans on introducing doubly fortified wheat flour and salt. Fortified foods of this sort are not to be consumed by everyone. They are only for people who suffer from deficiencies of iron or calcium.
Here's why fortified foods are not for everyone
- FSSAI plans on introducing doubly fortified wheat flour and salt
- Fortified foods of this sort are not to be consumed by everyone
- Fortification is the process of adding chemicals to certain foods
Hyderabad: The FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) plans on introducing doubly fortified wheat flour and salt. Fortified foods of this sort are not to be consumed by everyone. They are only for people who suffer from deficiencies of iron or calcium. Such fortified foods are to meet the nutritional needs of people whose dietary deficiencies are not met by supplements due to improper mineral absorption. However, the food industry is not in favour of this step by the FSSAI because this will require them to hire more manpower and use standardized chemicals for the fortification process. As per an internal audit, FSSAI officials found a negative response from the food industry.
Nutritionist Sujatha Stephen gives her take on the same. She said, "Fortification is recommended because medical supplementation has low compliance levels. 50 percent of pregnant women are anaemic and highly deficient in vitamin D, and so the government is keen on fortification."
She further explained by saying that fortified foods are not meant for everyone. Especially, people on a balanced diet with all healthy vegetables, meats, legumes and fish on their plate have no need for such fortified foods.
"Fortified foods are only meant for those who have been diagnosed with deficiencies, and whose deficiencies have not been controlled despite supplementation by natural foods."
Fortification is the process of adding chemicals to certain foods products. This is not considered to give much benefit by most nutritionists.
A senior nutritionist added, "Chemicals are used for fortification. It has yet to be studied whether the iron and other minerals are absorbed by the body. These foods have side-effects such as weight gain and an increase in the content of minerals which are already adequate in the diet. It is important to restrict the distribution of fortified foods to only those who have deficiencies."
Currently, there is confusion amongst government officials whether or not double fortification should be implemented or not.
A senior official from Telangana said, "Government orders have been issued but it is not clear how they are to be implemented and which categories of food actually require fortification. There is a lot of confusion regarding the people who need fortified foods. Identification will require coordination between healthcare workers and the food industry."
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