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The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said it was promoting fortification of micro-nutrients in staples to fight malnutrition. “We are trying to encourage brands to fortify their products. We are targeting five staple foods including rice, wheat, milk and edible oil for fortification,” FSSAI CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal said in an interactive session with Bharat Chamber of Commerce on food safety. Agarwal was addressing the event organised by FSSAI in Kolkata.
There is, however, no plan currently to make fortified staple food mandatory but government will keep a close watch. “If found voluntary acceptance is low then government may take step to make it mandatory,” he said. India ranks poor in global standards in nutrition index and thus FSSAI was trying to promote fortified food.
Agarwal said several brands will soon come out with fortifed atta including from brands like Ashirwad, Patanjali and Pillsbury. “We are also holding dialouges with some 10-20 millers for fortifying atta,” Agarwal said.
Meanwhile, FSSAI is trying to work out with the state government to encourage tea garden companies to supply fortified food to its workers. “We are holding discussions with stakeholders to see how fortified food can be supplied to tea garden workers can be worked out,” Agarwal said.