Food Fortification Program

Food Fortification ProgramFood Fortification Program

The first phase of the wheat flour fortification project (with Vitamin D) will be implemented in the current Iranian year (started March 21) across the country, said Zahra Abdollahi, head of nutrition office at the health ministry, adding that pilot studies to assess its effectiveness have been conducted.

“We have also started zinc supplementation on a pilot for children under 2 years at a medical university. If successful, we will implement the scheme nation-wide to improve the health status of all Iranian children,” IRNA quoted her as saying.

Abdollahi pointed out that so far the plan has not been undertaken in any of the eastern Mediterranean countries. “If successful, the program guidelines can be sent to the World Health Organization (WHO) as a model for other countries in this field,” she said.

“Also, to improve students’ nutrition, a list of permitted and prohibited items for school cafeterias was reviewed last year by the ministries of health and education with an emphasis on reducing salt, fat and sugar intake by students, and the revised list was notified to the schools.”

Last year, the priority of the office was reducing sugar, salt and fat intake. In this regard, the amount of salt in bread was revised by the Iranian National Standards Organization and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The salt amount was reduced from 2.3 to 1.8 percent.

“Since bread is widely consumed in the country, we have put greater focus on improving its quality by reducing salt, and in its fortification as well,” she said.