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Food Fortification Policies in the Asia Region


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Food Fortification Policies in the Asia Region by Dennis Bittisnich, Food Fortification Initiative. Presented at the ReSAKSS-Asia - MIID conference "Evolving Agrifood Systems in Asia: Achieving food and nutrition security by 2030" on Oct 30-31, 2019 in Yangon, Myanmar.

Published in: Food
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Food Fortification Policies in the Asia Region

  1. 1. Food fortification policies in the Asia region Dennis Bittisnich Food Fortification Initiative October 2019 Yangon, Myanmar Photo:
  2. 2. Overview 1. Overview: FFI partners, objectives, activities 2. Global status of mandatory fortification legislation 3. Asia country status
  3. 3. Food Fortification Initiative (FFI) Network of partners who: Champion implementation of fortified flour, salt and rice globally through public, private, and civic sector partnerships
  4. 4. FFI focus is on mandatory policy and legislation • Most sustainable approach to supplying micronutrients • Availability to majority of consumers – but not all • Equal costs across competitors • Based on international guidelines • Support industry and government compliance & enforcement
  5. 5. Applying mandatory fortification policy & standards • Nutrient needs and level differ by country • must be appropriate to the country’s nutrient deficiency and food consumption – including regionally • Food types and use differ by country • wheat flour, rice, oil, maize; industrial vs small scale • Nutrient compounds may differ by country • fortificant compounds must be bioavailable • Government monitoring capacity differs • Industry compliance capacity differs For more specific details, visit
  6. 6. Policy and technical support based on international standards
  7. 7. + + = Maize flour Oil Salt Wheat flour Rice FORTIFICATION DATA INFORMATION - GFDX
  8. 8. • GFDx is a visualization tool of data collected by partners or otherwise reported • Aims to empower global fortification community make data- driven decisions on food fortification policies and programs • Data can be feely downloaded
  9. 9. GFDx data includes: Indicators currently available: Health impact pre/post fortification Indicators coming in 2020: Fortification Legislation Fortification Standards Food Intake/ Availability Regulatory Monitoring Protocols Fortification Compliance/Quality Population Coverage % Industrially Produced Legislative Scope
  10. 10. Mandatory fortification globally… • 117 countries for salt • 82 countries for wheat flour • 25 countries for oil • 16 countries for maize flour • 7 countries for rice
  11. 11. Salt fortification Mandatory (39) Voluntary (4): Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Pakistan Asian Region (incl NE/Central Asia) *GFDx has combined the Middle East region with Asia. Only listed here are countries within Asia and Pacific
  12. 12. Wheat flour fortification Mandatory* (19): Australia, Fiji, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, Viet Nam, Solomon Islands Voluntary* (9): China, India, Malaysia, *GFDx has combined the Middle East region with Asia. Only listed here are countries within Asia and Pacific
  13. 13. Oil fortification Mandatory* (6): Bangladesh, Philippines, Viet Nam Voluntary* (6): Australia, China, India, Indonesia, New Zealand *GFDx has combined the Middle East region with Asia. Only listed here are countries within Asia and Pacific
  14. 14. Rice fortification Mandatory (3): Philippines , PNG and Solomons Voluntary* (3): Bangladesh, India *GFDx has combined the Middle East region with Asia. Only listed here are countries within Asia and Pacific
  15. 15. Maize flour fortification Low consumption of maize flour in the region and/or low industrial food processing of maize
  16. 16. Country Wheat Flour / Rice Fortification Status Legislation ✓ Mandatory legislation/standards X No mandatory legislation/standards Standards ✓ Standards (existing or proposed) follow WHO guidelines for at least iron and folic acid X Existing standards could be improved for improved public health benefit
  17. 17. Indonesia • Mandatory legislation since 2001 • But wheat flour Standard (SNI) does not follow WHO recommendations • Studies undertaken in 2017/18 to update SNI; new SNI requires bioavailable iron compounds • New SNI currently voluntary not mandatory Legislation ✓ Standards X Nutrients Previous New as of 2018 WHO Iron 50 (compound not specified) 50 (as ferrous sulfate, ferrous fumarate, NaFeEDTA) 60 (as ferrous sulfate, ferrous fumarate) 40 (as NaFeEDTA) Folate 2 (as folic acid) 2 (as folic acid) 2.6 (as folic acid) Zinc 30 (compound not specified) 30 (as zinc oxide) 55 (as zinc oxide) *Standar Nasional Indonesia. Tepung terigu sebagai bahan makanan. SNI 3751:2018
  18. 18. Malaysia • Voluntary standards for fortification gazetted July 2017 • Draft mandatory legislation still pending • Government not willing to pay for fortificants for all producers • Proposed only applies to flour in < 25 kg bags • Opens gap in fortification coverage since bulk flour used processing Legislation X Standards ✓ Nutrients New proposed (mg/kg) WHO (mg/kg) Iron 60 (as ferrous fumarate) 60 (as ferrous sulfate, ferrous fumarate) 40 (as NaFeEDTA) Folate 2.6 (as folic acid) 2.6 (as folic acid) Zinc Not included 55 (as zinc oxide) *Assumes Malaysia’s availability is 75-149 g/c/d; at this level electrolytic iron not recommended. Personal communication to FFI from the Ministry of Health
  19. 19. Mongolia • May 2018: Food fortification law passed • October 2018: Resolution stating salt and wheat flour as foods required under the law • 2019: Standards for wheat flour and salt being drafted • 2020: Fortification implementation Legislation X Standards X Law of Mongolia. About Fortified Foods. May 3, 2018.
  20. 20. Philippines • Mandatory wheat flour legislation since 2001 (not aligned with WHO) • National Nutrition Council (NNC) has pending resolution to add folic acid • Approval stalled due to requests for national nutrient retention studies • Wheat flour millers willing and technically capable of incorporating folic acid immediately Legislation ✓ Standards X Legislation ✓ Standards X
  21. 21. Sri Lanka Legislation X Standards X • Cabinet brief approved mandatory fortification of wheat flour • Standards and timeline ae pending
  22. 22. Viet Nam • Mandatory decree passed in 2016, effective 2018 • Wheat flour processors resisting adoption • Mixed messages about the status of Decree Legislation ✓ Standards X Photo: A representative of Acecook speaks at the workshop on food fortification in HCMC on June 25. © Vietnam Net
  23. 23. Mandatory fortification programs are most successful if they: Use recommended nutrient compounds and concentrations Optimize coverage and consumption Are well implemented and compliance monitored istockphoto FFI 2015
  24. 24. Solomon Islands • FFI assisted wheat flour and rice fortification policy / implementation • Strong support by wheat flour miller and main rice importers • New rice fortification standard adopted Dec 2018 - implemented May 2019 - first shipment in June Legislation ✓ Standards ✓ Legislation ✓ Standards ✓
  25. 25. For more information: E-mail Dennis: E-mail Becky: Also see: And join our group on LinkedIn: fortification-initiative/