‘Opportunity and challenges for Food Fortification in India’

Food Fortification (Enriching Foods, Enriching Lives)

Food fortification is the strategy to reduce the micronutrient malnutrition in India. It is the addition of vitamins and minerals such as Zinc, Iron, Calcium, Vitamins and Iodine in the micro quantity adding in the commonly consumed food such as rice, wheat, oil, salt and milk to improve their nutrition content. It is low cost, convenient and effective in India.

Food Fortification also used to prevent the widespread nutrient intake shortfalls and associated deficiencies or balance the diet nutrient profile or to restore nutrients lost in food processing or to provide the supplement diet.

There is immense potential for food processing and value addition, especially in niche areas such as organic and fortified foods” said by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

“State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties … ” – Article 47. Constitution of India

“Annually, India loses over US$12 billion in GDP to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Scaling up core micronutrient interventions would cost less than US$574 million per year” – UNICEF and Initiative. 2004 and World Bank. 2009

Opportunity of Food Fortification in India

  1. To reducing the risk of nutrient deficiency diseases:

In India, all children need the vitamins and minerals for healthy development, not only physically development but also cognatic development. Across the world, 2 billion people suffer from vitamins and minerals deficiency that is one third of the world.  In India has also these deficiencies leading to Goitre, Anaemia, Night Blindness and many birth defects due to cause by vitamins and minerals of micronutrient deficiencies. According to NFHS (National Family Health Survey) in India, “58.4 percent of children (6-59 months) are anaemic, 53.1 percent women in the reproductive age group are anaemic and 35.7 percent of children under 5 are underweight”. These issues can be short out through appropriate nutrition and in which food fortification play a significant role.

  • To 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.

  • To improve the health of population in large scale:

In food fortification the large number of Nutrients are added to the commonly consumed ingredients (rice, wheat, processed food, milk and oil). Thus, this is an excellent method to improve the health of a large section of the population.

  • It is a safe method of improving nutrition among people.

The addition of micronutrients 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.

  • It 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.
  • It does not alter the characteristics of the food like the taste, aroma or the texture of the food.
  • In global mapping study (2016) WHO showcase positive consequences of food fortification in many countries (Indonesia, Venezuela, Morocco etc)

Challenges for Food Fortification in India:

  1. In India, there are seen that food fortification ingredients not reaching target populations or overconsumption of nutrients in groups outside the target population and monitoring additional intakes and nutritional status associated with consumption of fortified foods.
  2. Choosing appropriate fortification vehicles (Food Ingredients) to reaching target populations, avoiding overconsumption in nontarget groups, and monitoring nutritional status.
  3.  Due to diversity of India, the different eating habit in each state effect on or hurdle in the reaching the target population in India. Because in some state wheat is the staple diet and in other state rice is the staple diet.
  4. To identify the most effective food vehicles to supply nutrients in each state of India.
  5. Challenges in supply the micronutrient through fortification and maintaining the balance of minimum and maximum of micronutrient values in the population.
  6. Technological issues (Use of Nanomaterials) for Food Fortification.
  7. Food Fortification awareness and social marketing challenges in India. In India, the basic information on existing dietary intakes is lacking and require for educate about the food fortification.

So, Food Fortification is a great tool for providing the adequate the nutrient with their associated deficiencies. This fortification product taken by consumer to prevention of deficiencies or to improving health but, its long-term effects remain unknown. Need of food fortification varies by age, sex, life stage, and genetic profile, groups that are at high risk of inadequacy. Furthermore, the foods to fortify as well as the micronutrient contents must be chosen carefully, to identify the most appropriate vehicles for food fortification as well as target the population at risk of inadequacy without creating excessive intakes for other subgroups of the population.

In India, Food Fortification Resource Centre (FFRC) is to promote large-scale fortification of food across India and approach is to motivate, nudge and facilitate the food industry to adopt Food Fortification as a norm.

The world has witnessed the power of food fortification

It’s a century old technology to address vitamin and mineral deficiencies

Vitamins & Minerals Name of Country and Year Food Fortification  
Iodine Switzerland (1923), USA (1930), India (1964) Salt
Vitarrun D Denmark 1918, India 1953 Indonesia 1996, New Zealand 2007 Mexico 2002 Margarine Vanaspati Milk
Vitamin A USA, UK 1923, Malaysia 1985, Thailand 1993, Mexico 2002, India 1953, Chile 1997, Mexico 1974, Central America 1974, Philippines 2000 Milk Margarine Vanaspati Sugar
Iron. 81. 82. Niacin Folic Acid Canada 1933. USA 1941 Chile 1954 Australia 2009 Costa Rica 1991, Philippines 2001 Wheat flour Flour for making bread Rice
Zinc Indonesia. 1998 Costa Rica. 1991 Wheat flour Rice

Colors and Flavors key ingredient for bakery industry

Colors a Key Ingredient: Think! Without color world look like dull and boring. So, it an integral part in creating attractive bakery products. Various color all around us classified as a primary, secondary and tertiary color or warm and cool color etc.  While using the color ingredients the chef always keeps in mind the 12 hue color wheel and three characteristics of color (hue, intensity and value) for purpose of create the various color schemes through one color place to next color. These color schemes always produce the pleasing effects of bakery products.

In Bakery, natural or vegetable coloring are considered safe and synthetic or artificial colorings consider under the subject of controversy in Bakery products. According to FDA (Food and Drug Administration) under the FSSAI Act (May 2013) of India authorised food colors can be used in ice-creams, flavoured milk, cake and sweet products within permissible quantities of colors and rest other cooked products cannot be prepared using a coloring agent in India.

The various reason for use the coloring agent as a key ingredient in bakery are:

  • To attract the Guest/Customer through Colors of products
  • To provide the identity to the food
  • Save the cost of product by local baker
  • Increase the pleasing effects of product or increase the appetite appeal
  • Use for balancing the menu colors
  • Colors influence on the choice of food
  • To protecting flavors from damage by light and artistic purposes

List of Colorents, Colors and use in Bakery

Colourant Colour Use in Bakery
Annatto Orange Shades Desserts &Fat Products
Beta-Carotene Yellow-Orange Ice Cream & Fat Products
Crocin & Saffron Yellow Ice Cream, Jam & Dessert
Lucin & Riboflavin Yellow Ice Creams
Beet Powder Bluish Red Frozen & Ice Creams
Cochineal Orange Sugar & Flavor Confectionary
Caramel Yellowish Tan-Red Brown Desserts & Ice Creams
Titanium Dioxide White Sugar Coated Confectionary
Iron Oxide Red Sugar Coated Confectionary

Always First, Food consumed through eyes and after that smell and taste. Means that color is the key ingredients which first attract to the guest to buy the bakery products through eye appeal. After that smell and taste is the secondary key ingredients in the bakery, in which flavour play the important role.  

Flavour a key Ingredients in Bakery: Flavour and taste we experience every day and it effect on the body. Various rasa (taste) use in bakery to get adequate essential flavour in a variety of bakery products. Every food in its natural form has one or more of the six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent) and each taste is blend with two of the five elements (space, water, earth, fire and air). Flavour is distinct sense that is constructed from the integration of distinct physiologically.  

Reason of use the flavour as a key ingredient in Bakery are:

  • To enjoyment or feel good factor
  • To provide sensory experience to the guest
  • To meet the consumer expectation of flavour

Flavour of any food consisting of 100 or more chemical that are present in bakery products. It is classified as natural flavours, added flavours and processed flavours.

List of the Flavour use in Bakery

Name of Flavors Types of Flavors Use in Bakery
Aromatic Seeds, Dry Herbs Natural Flavors For Bread Preparation
Fermented Processed Flavor For Bread Preparation
Caramelized Processed Flavor For Bread, Cake and Dessert
Menthol Oil Natural Extracted Flavors For Candy and Cake
Essences (Vanilla) Natural Extracted Flavors For Cake and Dessert
Yeast Natural Extracted Flavors For Bread Preparation
Fruit Flavors Synthetic Flavors For Dessert

These all flavour play an important role in making the delicious food. Food flavour consists of three sensations of odour, aroma and taste. Flavour and color also effect to each other and certain flavours also have own colours. At end we can say that without colour and flavour bakery industry cannot be survives in the world. So, these are the key ingredients of bakery for making the delicious bakery products.

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