Food fortification – effective strategy in fighting malnutrition and mineral deficiencies among Filipinos

There is a need to increase public awareness on the benefits of food fortification which are widely consumed by the populace such as rice, noodles and cooking oil as it is an effective intervention in fighting malnutrition and mineral deficiencies among Filipinos.

Susana Encarnacion, a nutritionist from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, said that food fortification is an effective strategy in fighting malnutrition and public awareness on the benefits of fortified foods should be given more emphasis.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), defines fortification as “the practice of deliberately increasing the content of an essential micronutrient, ie. vitamins and minerals (including trace elements) in a food irrespective of whether the nutrients were originally in the food before processing or not, so as to improve the nutritional quality of the food supply and to provide a public health benefit with minimal risk to health.

Food fortification was identified by the WHO and FAO as the second strategy of four to begin decreasing the incidence of nutrient deficiencies at the global level.

According to the FAO, the most common fortified foods are cereals and cereal based products, milk and milk products, fats and oils, accessory food items, tea and other beverages, and infant formulas.#