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Posted at: Nov 16, 2017, 1:03 AM; last updated: Nov 16, 2017, 1:03 AM (IST)

Tata Trusts to help firms in fortifying edible oils

Vijay C Roy

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15

Call it lack of awareness or the absence of mandatory guidelines, solvent extractors in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh are taking baby steps towards fortification of edible oil with vitamin A and D. Considering the progress which is very limited, despite government’s policy for fortification, Tata Trusts has decided to encourage producers.

Out of total annual production of 6 lakh metric tonnes of edible oil by around 165 units, only 3-5% is being fortified currently. 

A recent National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau survey and a report of the expert group of ICMR in 2012 has stated that India has very high burden of Vitamin A and D deficiencies among young children and adults, particularly in urban areas, as people are physically less active and have a limited exposure to sunlight in these areas. Since oil is consumed by all population groups, the fortification of oil with certain micronutrients is a good strategy to address micronutrient malnutrition.

Taking a step forward in this direction, Tata Trusts and Geneva-based NGO Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) have chosen Indian Institute of Health Management & Research (IIHMR), Jaipur, as an executive agency based on the experience of edible oil fortification in Rajasthan. They would work with different departments and oil producers of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to scale up the same in the state.

Vivek Arora, senior adviser, The India Nutrition Initiative, Tata Trusts, said, “We are working with edible oil industry in 10 states to nudge them, persuade them and trying to understand the challenges they are facing towards the fortification.”


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