Govt to popularise use of fortified rice
To engage top experts from AIIMS, IITs to spread awareness about fortified rice
The move comes against the backdrop of concerns raised by several non-government organizations that are opposed to fortified rice, official sources tells Bizz Buzz. Fortified rice comes added with micronutrients
New Delhi: In a major outreach programme to popularize fortified rice, the central government is engaging top experts from leading institutions like AIIMS and IITs to spread awareness about the beneficial aspects of this welfare measure. The move comes against the backdrop of concerns raised by several non-government organizations that are opposed to fortified rice, official sources told Bizz Buzz. One of the opponents even moved the Supreme Court against the measure. In January, however, the apex court refused to entertain the plea and asked the petitioner to make a representation to authorities concerned about the matter.
Fortification is the process of adding fortified rice kernels (FRK), containing the prescribed micronutrients (iron, folic acid, vitamin B12) to normal rice (custom milled rice) in the ratio of 1:100. That is mixing 1 kg of FRK with 100 kg of custom milled rice. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India or FSSAI prescribes the micronutrients. Fortified rice is nearly identical to traditional rice in aroma, taste, and texture. This process is done in the rice mills at the time of milling of rice, the sources said.
Fortification of rice is a cost-effective and complementary strategy to increase vitamin and mineral content in diets with low turnaround time and a step towards nutritional security, the sources said, adding that it helps in fighting anemia and malnutrition in the country. This practice is prevalent in many parts of the world.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution is implementing the scheme to distribute fortified rice through public distribution system (PDS) shops.