LARGE SCALE FOOD FORTIFICATION
In an ideal world, we would all have access to a wide variety of nutrient rich foods which provide all the vitamins and minerals we need. Unfortunately, for many people, especially in poorer countries, this is often not feasible or affordable. That’s why fortifying food staples such as flour, cooking oils and condiments with essential micronutrients is a crucial component of our work at GAIN.
GAIN is the global leader in large-scale food fortification, building the necessary public private partnerships, strengthening local supply by working on building quality assurance and quality control capacity with food processors and regulators and setting up monitoring and evaluation system to ensure this intervention is delivered in a sustainable way.
Our food fortification programs have reached 800 million people in more than 30 countries around the world. We help fortify vegetable oil with vitamins A and D; wheat and maize flour with iron, folic acid, other B vitamins and zinc; soy sauce with iron and salt with iodine. Once an initial capital investment is made, continuing costs are only a few US cents per person per year. Food fortification also helps economies by reducing malnutrition, preventing estimated losses to the economy of as much as 2.65% of GDP according to the World Bank.
An example of a successful alliance for micronutrients is the GAIN-UNICEF Universal Salt Iodization Partnership, working in 14 countries from 2008-2015. This project protected an additional 466 million people against iodine deficiency, including an estimated 18.2 million pregnant and lactating women and 113 million children aged 6 months to 15 years old who are no longer at risk of its debilitating effects.
Launched by GAIN in 2017, the ENABLE Platform is a set of integrated services designed to establish, optimise and maintain food fortification and safety programs in developing countries around the world. Including the GAIN Premix Facility (GPF), the pioneering procurement model we introduced in 2009 which has brought high-quality micronutrients worth more than $60 million to food producers in over 40 countries, reaching around 120 million people every year across Africa and Asia, the new platform flexibly addresses the political, technical and economic factors which challenge the ongoing success of food fortification programs.
Building alliances with governments, NGOs, private-sector businesses, civil society, academic institutions and others that allow programs to deliver sustainable impacts at scale, we identify the needs of each country we work in and tailor a solution to them. We provide producers who lack the upfront funds to start fortifying foods with extended credit. We support governments seeking to mandate fortification and encourage them to invest in stringent, skilled regulation systems. We offer technical support and professional training to build capacity for testing and enforcing quality standards, and introduce processes to hold producers accountable for compliant quality. Increasingly, we conduct food-safety interventions both within and beyond our fortification programs, and spread the advances these drive through international food systems. And we continue to amass evidence based on our unmatched experience in this field, creating best-practice templates that anyone can use to shape their own food fortification programs.
CENTRAL ASIA REGIONAL FORTIFICATION PORTAL
The USAID-funded Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia Republics Regional Fortification Initiative aims to build capacity for food fortification with essential vitamins and minerals in order to improve micronutrient intakes across the region, and in particular for Afghanistan. The initiative is forming essential partnerships between governmental bodies, the private sector as well as civil society partners to embed fortification within the regional and national food systems to achieve sustainable fortification which leads to health impact. Key objectives include establishing and strengthening regulations and monitoring, facilitating harmonization of regional fortification standards; and strengthening quality control and enforcement. This portal offers essential USAID-funded technical outputs and information related to food fortification in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Central Asian Republics.
- GAIN-USAID Central Asia Project Summary (ENG)
- GAIN-USAID Central Asia Project Summary (RUS)
- Factsheet – Industry Assessments Kazakhastan (ENG)
- Factsheet – Industry Assessments Kazakhastan (RUS)
- Factsheet – Trade Flows Kazakhastan (ENG)
- Factsheet – Trade Flows Kazakhastan (RUS)
- Factsheet – Legislation (ENG)
- Factsheet – Legislation (RUS)
- Summary of Lessons Learned in the Central Asia Republics (ENG)
- Summary of Lessons Learned in the Central Asia Republics (RUS)
- Industry Assessment in Kazakhstan and Pakistan (ENG)
- Industry Assessment in Kazakhstan and Pakistan (RUS)
- Analysis of Food Fortification in CAR Afghanistan and Pakistan (ENG)
- Analysis of Food Fortification in CAR Afghanistan and Pakistan (RUS)
- Regional Trade Flow Analysis across the CAR Region (ENG)
- Regional Trade Flow Analysis across the CAR Region (RUS)
- 29 October 2015 Central Asian Trade Forum Panel Report
- 30 October 2015 Regional Meeting Report
- 8 September 2016 Central Asian Trade Forum Panel Report
- GAIN – USAID Regional Summit Report April 2017
- Pakistan – Afghanistan Cross Border Trade Meeting on Fortified Wheat Flour and Edible Oils (ENG)
- Central Asian Trade Forum VI: Roundtable: Facilitating Fortified Wheat Flour Trade in the Central Asian Republics, Afghanistan and Pakistan _ September 2016
Micronutrient deficiencies including iron, zinc, vitamin D, and vitamin A are widespread in Afghanistan. More than 50% of children under five years are deficient in vitamin A, and 64% are deficient in vitamin D while 14% are iron deficient, all severe public health problems. GAIN and USAID are supporting in-country efforts aimed at creating an enabling environment to increase the availability and access to fortified foods in Afghanistan by strengthening fortification regulations and capacity for monitoring and enforcement, with a special focus on imports of fortified wheat flour and edible oil from neighbouring countries.
- Afghanistan Fortified Wheat Flour Standard
- Afghanistan Fortified Edible Oil and Ghee Standard
- Afghanistan Iodized Salt Standard
Wheat flour is a critical staple food in Central Asia, accounting for between 50-70% of caloric intake. Kazakhstan is among the top wheat flour exporting countries in the world. Neighbouring countries in the region, especially Afghanistan, import part of their wheat flour from Kazakhstan, which, if fortified, would have a significant impact. GAIN and USAID are working with key stakeholders including the Kazakh Academy of Nutrition and the Kazakh Union of Grain Processors, to raise awareness and create an enabling environment for increased production and trade of adequately fortified wheat flour in Kazakhstan and throughout the region, with an emphasis on improving fortification processes, regulations and monitoring.
- Public Health and Healthcare System Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan (RUS)
- Food Safety Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan (RUS)
- Kazakhstan Specifications for Fortified Bread and Breadstuffs (RUS)
- Kazakhstan Specifications for KAP Komplex 1 Premix (RUS)
- Wheat standard of the Republic of Kazakhstan (RUS)
- Kazakhstan Food Fortification Rules – Decree of the Ministry of National Economy from February 2015 (RUS)
- 7-8 July 2015 Kazakhstan Regional Flour Fortification Workshop Report (ENG)
- 14-15 March 2016 Regional Technical Meeting on Harmonization of Wheat Flour Fortification Standards in Kazakhstan Report
- 30 September 2016 How wheat flour fortification can impact the health and economy of Kazakhstan
- Fortification Assessment Coverage Tool (FACT) factsheets (ENG)
- Fortification Assessment Coverage Tool (FACT) factsheets (RUS)
- Analysis of Economic Losses in Kazakhstan
In Pakistan, most children and women of reproductive age suffer from multiple micronutrient deficiencies. Half of the women and 62% children under five in Pakistan are iron deficient. Vitamin A deficiency is also of concern with 42% of non-pregnant women and 54% of the under-fives with low serum retinol levels. At the same time, Pakistan is a major producer and exporter of both wheat flour and edible oil in the region. More than half of Afghanistan’s wheat flour is imported from Pakistan. Mandatory regulations for the fortification of edible oils with vitamin A are in place, wheat flour fortification is starting. USAID and GAIN are supporting industries to set up the right tools and processes to produce fortified wheat flour and edible oil; supporting strengthening the regulatory monitoring system for compliance; and raising awareness about the economic and health benefits of consuming fortified foods to industries, consumers, and government stakeholders.
Reports and Assessments
- Analysis of Economic Losses due to Micronutrient Deficiencies in Pakistan (ENG)
- Analysis of Economic Losses due to micronutrient deficiencies in Pakistan (RUS)
- Industry and Regulatory Monitoring of Wheat Oil and Salt in Punjab Province (ENG)
- USAID-GAIN Pakistan Regional Food Fortification Project: Industry Assessment Tool – Wheat Flour Mills: January 2017 (ENG)
- USAID – GAIN: Pakistan – Option Analysis for Premix Distribution- August 6 2017
- Market Assessment On The Prescence Of Vanapspati/Ghee And Cooking Oil Brands And Their Levels Of Vitamin A In Pakistan
- USAID – GAIN: Assessment Of Premix Distribution In Pakistan: Option Analysis
- USAID – GAIN: Study On The Fortification Costing Of Wheat Flour (Atta) And Edible Oil In Pakistan
- Guidance Booklet for Fortified Flour
- 15 June 2015 Pakistan Consultative Session Report
- Pakistan – Afghanistan Cross Border Trade Meeting on Fortified Wheat Flour and Edible Oils (ENG)
- USAID – GAIN: Pakistan – Afghanistan: Cross Border Trade Meeting On Fortified Wheat Flour And Edible Oils
- USAID – GAIN: Traders Meeting on Facilitating Fortified Wheat Flour Exports to Afghanistan
Despite economic progress, micronutrient deficiencies Tajikistan remain high. Iron deficiency anaemia affects an estimated 24% of women of reproductive age and 28% of children under the age of five. Bread is the main staple food, and therefore wheat flour is an ideal vehicle for fortification with iron and folic acid. GAIN and USAID are supporting the Government of Tajikistan in the development of appropriate fortification legislation and policies, and building capacities of food industries and food control authorities for the fortification of wheat flour to improve iron and folate status in the Tajik population.
- GAIN-USAID Tajikistan Project Summary (ENG)
- GAIN-USAID Tajikistan Project Summary (RUS)
- Summary of Scaling Up Nutrition in Tajikistan
- Tajikistan Standard for Bread and Bakery Products made with Fortified Wheat Flour (RUS)
- Tajikistan Standard for Baking using Fortified Wheat Flour (RUS)
- Tajikistan Technical Specifications for Micronutrient Premix (RUS)
- Tajikistan Standard for National Bakery Products (RUS)
- Tajikistan Standard for National Bread (RUS)
Reports and Assessments
- Assessment of Fortification Opportunities in Tajikistan (ENG)
- Tajikistan Laboratory Assessment Report (ENG)
- Wheat Flour Milling Industry Assessment Report (ENG)
- Formative Research on Consumption of Wheat Flour in Khatlon Province 2014 (ENG)
- Formative Research on Consumption of Wheat Flour in Khatlon Province 2014 (RUS)
- Tajikistan Laboratory Assessment Report (RUS)
- 1-2 July 2015 Tajikistan National Workshop on Food Fortification Report
- 10-11 March 2016 Synopsis of the Cost Benefit Analysis of Wheat Flour Fortification in Tajikistan
- Food fortification in Tajikistan: A cost effective strategy for sustainable economic growth (ENG)
- Food fortification in Tajikistan: A cost effective strategy for sustainable economic growth (RUS)
- Food fortification in Tajikistan: A cost effective strategy for sustainable economic growth (TAJ)
- U.S. Government Supported Training For Journalists To Promote Improved Nutrition (ENG)
GAIN collaborates with its partners to collect and publish national data and track fortification efforts globally. While GAIN is tracking information on oil and condiments as fortified vehicles, the Food Fortification Initiative takes the lead on tracking progress on cereal grains, and the Iodine Global Network tracks salt.
Vegetable oils and fats
Vegetable oils and fats, such as margarine or ghee, are typically fortified with vitamins A and D. While some countries may have legislation covering all types of vegetable oils, the below information is valid if a country mandates at least one type of vegetable oil or fat.
As of October 2016:
- 49 countries mandate fortification of vegetable oils or margarine with vitamin A and 20 of these also include vitamin D in their standards.
- 10 countries allow voluntary fortification with vitamin A and 6 also include vitamin D in their standards.
Condiments and sauces
Condiments and sauces, such as fish sauce, soy sauce, MSG, and bouillon cubes are increasingly being utilized as flavor enhancers for many foods, reducing salt intakes in some cases. Condiments and sauces can be fortified with iodine, iron, vitamin A, or multiple micronutrients depending on the condiment and the population need.
As of October 2016:
- 2 countries mandate fortification of fish and soy sauces (Thailand and Cambodia).
- Vietnam allows for voluntary fortification of fish and soy sauces and China allows for voluntary fortification of soy sauce only.
- 2 countries allow voluntary fortification of MSG (Philippines and Indonesia).
- 7 countries in West Africa are currently within the Nestle Maggi fortified bouillon cubes distribution area.
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Read news and updates about GAIN’s food fortification work