The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), an NGO founded in 2002, will now offer technical support in the form of training programmes and product testing to make it easier for companies to fortify foods such as wheat, rice, milk and oil.

According to Pune’s FDA commissioner, Suresh Deshmukh, the department is the first in Maharashtra to have developed such an initiative.

He added that the main purpose for doing so was to tackle India’s persistent problems of blood-related disorders like anaemia, as well as vitamin A and D deficiency, which have led to bone disorders, defective eyesight and brittle bones even among young children.

FDA effort

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, ​GAIN’s head of programmes, Deepti Gulati, said the NGO was already active in 18 states in India, and had been working closely with the FSSAI on the fortification of wheat, rice, milk, and edible oil.

In June last year, GAIN organised a conference in Maharashtra, where the Deshmukh led the agenda on food fortification. Soon after, the NGO began working with the government to introduce fortified wheat flour and edible oil into its publicly funded programmes.

Gulati added: “We also started working with industry partners to build up their capacity to appropriately and adequately fortify rice and milk for the open market.”

To ensure this can be achieved, the FDA has begun organising training workshops for food suppliers and manufacturers to educate them on food fortification and encourage them to adopt the practice.

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