Malnutrition Drives Demand for Fortified Food Products

Published Date : Mar 07, 2016

Fortified foods refer to food products enriched with extra nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Fortifying foods with nutrients can help eradicate various nutrition-related diseases, especially in the emerging economies. According to health experts, over 50% of child mortality below five years of age is due to malnutrition. Growing awareness regarding the consumption of healthy and nutritious foods to maintain a disease-free lifestyle has propelled the growth of the global fortified foods market. Lately, fortified food products have become widely popular among health conscious consumers. Various fortified food categories have been included in the market, thereby making it difficult to track and analyze with precision. 

The global fortified foods market can be broadly classified into vitamins and minerals fortified foods. The market includes a wide range of product lines such as cereals and baby foods and formulas. Owing to their high nutritional value, cereals dominate the overall fortified foods market. Understanding the grave concerns regarding malnutrition, governments across the world have taken efforts to fortify food products. Currently, 84 countries in the world use fortified food products.

India to Introduce Fortified Foods in Mid Day Meals across Schools

In India, malnutrition levels continue to be shockingly high. In an effort to tackle under-nutrition in the country, the government is considering to provide fortified food products such as rice, milk, salt, and wheat in mid day meals in schools as well as in the supplementary nutrition scheme under the Integrated Child Development Services. To encourage large-scale fortification, a committee of secretaries set up by the government will meet food manufacturers. According to sources close to the matter, food products such as rice and wheat are already being fortified across 10 states in India. Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Maharashtra are among some of these states where food products are being fortified with vitamin A, D, and iron. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has been asked to revise norms regarding these products.