National mandated food fortification programs, Chapter in Food Fortification in a Globalized World, 1st Edition

Chapter 5 in Food Fortification in a Globalized World, 1st Edition edited by M.G.Venkatesh Mannar and Richard Hurrell

Food systems often fail to deliver foods sufficiently rich in micronutrient. Where such gaps exist for large segments of the population, food fortification -- the practice of adding one or more essential nutrients to a food – can improve the nutritional quality of the food supply. The fortification of staple foods, and in some instances condiments, has proven to be an effective tool to decrease micronutrient malnutrition, particularly when mandated as part of a broader national nutrition strategy. Food fortification is intended to increase regular consumption of micronutrients known to be inadequate in the diets of populations and is therefore not a stand-alone solution for addressing all forms of micronutrient malnutrition. Rather, appropriate legislation can ensure that it serves as a highly cost effective, evidence-based public health approach which complements other long-term nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive strategies to address nutrient insufficiencies.

This chapter summarises the global status of national mandated fortification programs, and outlines a national fortification delivery model to illustrate how policy can be designed that builds, improves, measures and sustains mandatory large-scale industrial fortification as an effective public health tool.