The FSSAI says that companies like Cargill, The Future Group, and TATA Global Beverages want to launch fortified food items to fight malnutrition.
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The Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), which has released standards for the fortification of foods, as well as the standards for the logo that companies should use, is now drafting standards for the fortification of packaged foods which may be released within the next two months.
FSSAI CEO, Pankaj Kumar Agarwal said that a special meeting was held on large scale food production in the presence of Bill Gates, and secretaries of various ministries including health, food, HRD, food processing, and women and child development.The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has joined hands with the TATA trusts to commit their support to this programme. Agarwal said that a new website has also been launched recently.
Gates says that he’s encouraged by the government’s new initiatives to advance India’s nutrition goals. The Gates Foundation is committed to working alongside the government and other partners to help scale nutrition interventions to advance these goals.
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The Ministry of Women and Child Development is currently considering making the fortification of foods mandatory, and Agarwal feels that this would accelerate the process but it should be done in organised phases with different timelines for each product. He also emphasised that to enforce this, the supply side needs to be strengthened or else it would be difficult.
Mother Dairy is fortifying its token milk, and they’re the first to use the logo. While Cargill will launch fortified vegetable oil, TATA Beverages has shown interest in fortifying its tea.
Several states are already in advanced stages of adopting fortified foods in government programmes. The Future Group will soon set up a food park in Bengaluru, and is also very keen on fortification.
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