This report presents findings from a market assessment of the presence and fortification level of vitamin A in all major brands of edible oil and vanaspati sold in Pakistan and potentially exported to Afghanistan that was undertaken to inform technical and programmatic decisions to support effective food fortification.
Its objective was to identify locally produced or imported edible oil and vanaspati brands available in the market and establish whether they meet fortification standards for oil and vanaspati with vitamin A, which has been mandatory in Pakistan since 1965. The assessment also compared major brands that may also be exported to Afghanistan with the Afghan national fortification standard.
Although around two thirds of the available brands were confirmed to be fortified in Pakistan, a number of oil/vanaspati producers were not yet fortifying their products to the standard. This assessment reveals the importance of monitoring of fortification, the need for regular inspections of the fortification process at the point of production and monitoring of the supply chain by the relevant regulatory bodies. There is an urgent need to review processes and identify gaps to strengthen the capacity of industry and food distribution systems to ensure the food vehicle delivers the desired quantity of micronutrients to the population.