Food regulator FSSAI is considering making it mandatory for edible oil manufacturers to fortify cooking oil with vitamins A and D, which help enhance immunity.
FSSAI CEO Arun Singhal said, “FSSAI is considering mandating strengthening of edible oil with vitamins A and D so that the people of India can enjoy better immunity.”
He was addressing a national webinar on edible oil fortification organized by the Food Safety Resource Center (FFRC) under the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), a statement said on Saturday . .
Singhal said that strengthening of edible oil would ensure that people belonging to various socio-economic sectors have easy access to edible oils across the country.
“India has a high burden of malnutrition, including micronutrient deficiency. A large population in our country suffers from vitamin A deficiency and deficiency of these vitamins in our body can adversely affect the morbidity, mortality, productivity and economic growth.
Vitamins A and D strengthen the immune system, which is important in times of the Kovid-19 pandemic, it added.
For the convenience of the industry, Singhal said that the FFRC would provide the necessary technical support to enable the reinforcement of edible oil.
The statement said that 69% (7.94 million tonnes / annum) of packaged edible oil sold in Pan-India is fortified edible oil.
GAIN’s country director Tarun Vij said, ‘The government’s mandate to scale up the process of edible oil refining should go hand in hand to increase the capacity of the industry as the quality of edible oil along with vitamins A and D must be ensured. Citing the example of Rajasthan, where edible oil has been strengthened since 2011, Vij said there is a substantial reduction in vitamin A deficiency among children (10–19 years) in the state.
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