India signs cooperation agreement with World Food Programme for 2023-27
Product to be manufactured in accordance with FSSAI guidelines for rice fortification
Thane-based Fermenta Biotech has commissioned a new facility to manufacture Fortified Rice Kernel (FRK) located in Pennepalli, Tirupati district in Andhra Pradesh. With this milestone, Fermenta has entered the rice fortification market and bolstered its emerging portfolio in nutrition. The FRK produced will be enriched with iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid, in compliance with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) guidelines for rice fortification.
An alarmingly high incidence of nutritional anaemia due to deficiency of iron, folate and vitamin B12 is seen especially in children and women of child-bearing age in developing countries, including India. In light of the rampant malnutrition prevalence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to ensure that by 2024, all rice distributed by the Government of India would be fortified. The government also announced plans to initiate rice fortification under various schemes, including Public Distribution System, Integrated Child Development Services, PM POSHAN (erstwhile Mid-Day Meal Scheme) and Other Welfare Schemes.
Fortified rice manufacturers mix FRK with traditional milled rice thereby enhancing its nutritional content. India is one of the leading producers of rice, with a geographically and economically diverse rice-consuming population. Moreover, the incremental cost for fortifying rice is low, making it a scalable and cost-effective strategy. Studies have shown the acceptability of fortified rice by consumers along with significant retention of micronutrients after processing.
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