Recently, the government of India has taken several measures for Rice Fortification. It is a step to fight the malnutrition spread across the country. Food fortification isn’t a new concept and has been around the years. Fortification is the process of adding some vitamins and minerals to any food item to increase its nutritional value. Besides rice, fortification is applied to food items like milk, wheat, salt, and edible oil. Rice Fortification is a WHO-approved process that tends to increase the nutritional value.
Meaning of Rice Fortification
What led to the decision to fortify rice in India? Fortified rice will be distributed in India by 2024 with added nutritional value. Schemes like Mid-day Meal and PDS (Public Distribution System) also include Rice Fortification. It is done to fight malnutrition that prevents the growth of children and women across the country. India produces around 20% of the rice found on the entire planet. Apart from mass production, steps should be taken to enhance the nutritional value of rice. Read on to know more about Rice Fortification, its meaning, and its benefits.
Several minerals and vitamins are added to rice for enhancing its nutritional value. All minerals and vitamins added to rice for increasing its nutritional value are approved by WHO or FSSAI. Elements like vitamin A, vitamin B12, iron, and zinc are added to rice for enhancing its nutritional value. Several methods can be used to fortify rice.
Rice Fortification Methods
The technique used to fortify rice will depend on the level of local technology and skills. Some of the methods used to fortify rice are as follows:
- One can add a micronutrient powder to rice for fortification.
- One can spray a mix of vitamins and minerals over rice to increase its nutritional value. The combination of vitamins and minerals forms a protective coating over the rice grains.
- Once the rice is extruded, it is given a grain-shaped structure that may appear pre-cooked at first. The grain-shaped rice is later mixed with polished rice to achieve fortification.
With the above-stated methods, kernels of rice are fortified. The process involves a surplus supply of fortified kernels. Often, governments look for cost-effective ways to successfully apply Rice Fortification. In India, more than 300 lakh tonnes of rice have been allocated for different schemes. Rice Fortification is essential to ensure the rice is of the highest nutritional value.
Rice Fortification - Prescribed Concentration of vitamins/minerals
According to FSSAI, one kg of fortified rice should have vitamins/minerals with the following concentrations:
Rice Fortification can help a nation to eliminate malnutrition. Fortified rice is set to be distributed under various schemes in India.
FAQs on Rice Fortification
Q.1. With regards to Rice Fortification, what is Mission Poshan 2.0 in India?
Rice Fortification is a governmental initiative to increase the outreach of national nutritional programs.
Q.2. Who sets standards for Rice Fortification in India?
FSSAI sets the standards for Rice Fortification in India.
Q.3. In the context of Rice Fortification, how nutritional value of rice decreases initially?
In the context of Rice Fortification, Milled rice loses some of its nutritional value during the milling and polishing process.
Q.4. Why do nations opt for Rice Fortification?
Nations opt for Rice Fortification to eliminate malnutrition.
Q.5. Why Rice Fortification is necessary for India?
Iron deficiency and anaemia are commonly observed in pregnant women and children. Therefore, to reduce the disease burden of India, Rice Fortification is necessary.