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What is the News?
The government of India has issued a Standard Operating Procedure(SOP) to maintain desired quality standards for the implementation of ‘rice fortification’ to address malnutrition, anaemia and micronutrient deficiencies.
What is Fortification?
Food fortification is regarded as one of the top three priorities for developing countries as per the Copenhagen Consensus Statement, 2008.
|Read here: Food Fortification in India – Explained, pointwise|
What is Rice Fortification?
Rice fortification is a process of adding micronutrients like Iron, Folic Acid and Vitamin B12. It is an effective, preventive and cost-efficient complementary strategy to address the challenge of anaemia.
On August 15, 2021, the Prime Minister announced a plan to distribute fortified rice to the poor by 2024. This could be accomplished under different schemes, including through Public Distribution Systems (PDS) and Mid-Day Meals.
What is the purpose of SOP on Rice Fortification?
The SOP clearly narrates the role and responsibilities of various stakeholders engaged under the Rice Fortification Programme:
– Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI) gives licenses to manufacturers of FRK (Fortified Rice Kernels).
– FSSAI is also mapping the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories(NABL) accredited labs under the states which may test the various quality parameters of FRK/FR.
– Promotional and regulatory roles are undertaken by the FSSAI’s Food Safety Officer(FSO). These officers are picking random samples from the mill and from fair price shops to ensure the quality of fortified rice.
– Food Fortification Resource Center (FFRC) a unit of FSSAI will monitor & evaluate the programme with support from development partners.
Source: The post is based on the article “Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued to maintain desired quality standards for implementation of ‘Rice Fortification’” published in PIB on 20th May 2022.