SAFEGUARDS | Food NO. 099/17

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On May 19, 2017, the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FFSAI) revised a draft regulation related to fortified food products including salt, vanaspati, wheat flour (Atta), vegetable oil, milk, refined wheat flour (Maida), and fortified rice. This regulation entered into force on April 17, 2017.

Micronutrients are dietary components, often referred to vitamins and minerals. The human body requires these components in small amounts for growth, metabolism and the normal functioning of the immune system. Deficiencies of micronutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, iron, iodine, and zinc affect malnutrition and chronic diseases in pregnant, lactating women and young children.

To control and prevent these deficiencies, several strategies have been employed by implementing public education and dietary modification, as well as food supplementation and fortification. Food fortification is the most attractive strategy to combat micronutrient deficiencies because it can reach wider at-risk population groups without requiring major changes in existing consumption patterns, at low cost, and in a relatively short space of time. Currently, food fortification is endorsed and supported by governments as well as by international agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the United Nations Children Fund. Staple foods including salt, flour, oil, rice and sugar are the main vehicles chosen for this application. As per a recent WHO report, India has a high malnutrition rate. The Indian government has acknowledged this and set requirements for the fortification of staple foods. Following publication of a draft regulation in October 2016 [1], which failed to include mention of a product known as ‘standardized milk’ the text was updated and a new version of the regulation published on 19 May 2017 [2], see more details in Table 1.

Table 1 Indian Standard for Fortified Foods

Micronutrients Food commodity Level of micronutrients
Iodine Salt Manufacture level: Not less than 30 mg/kg dry basis
Distribution channel: Not less than 15 mg/kg dry basis
Iron content (as Fe) Salt 850 – 1100 mg/kg
Ferric salt Atta, Maida, rice ≥ 20 mg/kg
Ferrous salt Maida ≥ 60 mg/kg
Zinc Atta, Maida, rice ≥ 30 mg/kg
Vitamin A Milk (standardized, toned*, double toned or skimmed milk) ≥ 770 IU/L
Vegetable oil ≥ 25 IU/g
Atta, Maida, rice ≥ 1500 ug/kg
Synthetic vitamin A Vanaspati At the time of packing: not less than 25 IU/g
Vitamin D Milk (standardized, toned*, double toned or skimmed milk) ≥ 550 IU/L
Vegetable oil ≥ 4.5 IU/g
Folic acid Atta, Maida, rice ≥ 1300 ug/kg
Niacin Atta, Maida, rice ≥ 42 mg/kg
Vitamin B1 Atta, Maida, rice ≥ 3.5 mg/kg
Vitamin B2 Atta, Maida, rice ≥ 4 mg/kg
Vitamin B6 Atta, Maida, rice ≥ 5 mg/kg
Vitamin B12 Atta, Maida, rice ≥ 10 ug/kg

* Toned milk – refers to a product that is a combination of buffalo milk, milk powder and water to create a particular composition.

What do the changes mean?

This update has the potential to affect food manufacturers. Fortified food destined for India must contain micronutrients at the minimum levels described in the country’s food fortification regulation. Complying with food regulations is complex, food producers should seek professional advice.

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Global Competence Support Centre Food Specialist
t: +66 2683 0541 ext 2423

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