Thiruvananthapuram: To combat micronutrient deficiencies especially vitamin A and D among all age groups, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is planning to introduce the fortification process in the state.
The Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2017 framed by FSSAI will come into effect in the state on January 1.
As part of its effort to implement the Act, the FSSAI in association with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), an independent non-profit foundation based in Geneva, conducted a workshop on fortification to brainstorm hundreds of food safety officials including assistant commissioners and lab analysts under the Kerala Commissionerate of Food Safety (KCFS) recently.
To begin with, the Commissionerate is gearing up to facilitate good quality fortified milk and cooking oil in the state from January.
Joint commissioner of Kerala Commissionerate of Food Safety K. Anil Kumar said the Act would be a boon for other states.
“Fortification is very much necessary for states with micronutrient deficiencies. In Kerala, Attapadi tribal settlement is the only pocket where nutrient deficiency is being reported," he told DC.
"We are well equipped to enforce the Act in the state. However, a thorough study would be needed by urban health centres on the necessity of fortification in Kerala.” He said that from January the Commissionerate would screen fortified products being sold in the state.
"We will collect samples and to make sure the claims labelled in the product are true," he added.As per the Act micronutrients for fortification purpose should be extracted strictly from vegetables. The Commissionerate is planning to tie up with Tata Trusts to procure extracted micronutrients. Meanwhile, Milma - Kerala Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd - is all set to launch fortified milk in the state.
A top official of Milma said that the new range would be launched next month.
"The design and logo of the new packet are being finalised. Fortified milk will be sold in the same price range like our other packet milk products," he told DC.