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November 25, 2016

India’s food standards agency mulls mandatory fortification

India’s food standards authority is said to be considering new regulations that mandate the fortification of basic food items such as milk, wheat flour and cooking oil with micronutrients, just-food has been told.

India’s food standards authority is said to be considering new regulations that mandate the fortification of basic food items such as milk, wheat flour and cooking oil with micronutrients, just-food has been told.

Last week, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India set out standards for fortification for companies that want to add the ingredients to certain foods – but is said to be weighing up legislation to make some fortification compulsory. 

Kuldeep Sharma, founder of Suruchi Consultants in New Delhi and who has been working with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India on projects, said the agency is drafting new regulations that would insist primary food products “are fortified with Vitamin A and D”.

An official at dairy manufacturer Amul told just-food the FSSAI is planning moves towards compulsory fortification. However, the official opposed the addition of synthetic vitamins in milk. “Its health benefits have not yet been provoked conclusively,” the official said.

The FSSAI refused to comment and would not give more details on its plans.

Last week, the agency started a push to fortify foods including milk, wheat flour and cooking oil with nutrients including iron, folic acid and zinc, as well as vitamins A, D and B12.

New Delhi’s Mother Dairy has started fortifying milk with vitamin A and D without increasing the price of the milk from US$0.53 per litre. “The cost of fortification is negligible – much less than $0.05 per litre,” a spokesperson told just-food.

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