June 04, 2015

04/06/2015: FFI: Malawi passes standards to fortify four staple foods

Women and children are the population most
in need of the extra nutrients included in food
fortification. (Istockphoto from Malawi)
Now 83 countries mandate fortification of at least one industrially milled cereal grain

Fortification of wheat flour, maize flour, sugar, and oil were made mandatory in Malawi with the May 2015 publication of the national standards. The Bureau of Standard and Ministry of Health inspectors are charged with enforcing compliance among domestic producers and importers.
While the country’s standards were being revised due to technological and environmental changes, the National Fortification Alliance requested that fortification be included. The wheat flour standard notes that it will “protect consumers in a way that they get a safe and nutritionally rich product while at the same time assist the producers and importers to meet international market requirements.”

In Malawi, maize flour called ufa is a staple food for the population. It is commonly consumed in a cereal food product called nsima. The country has three large flour producers – Rab Processors for both wheat and maize, and Bakhresa and Capital Foods for wheat.

The wheat flour and maize flour standards both call for the inclusion of iron, zinc, vitamin A, and the following B vitamins: folic acid, vitamin B12, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. See more information about Malawi on the country profile.

Project Healthy Children (PHC) and UNICEF have provided technical assistance in Malawi while Irish Aid has provided financial support. Individuals from Malawi have participated in five Smarter Futures events since 2008, including advocacy meetings, workshops for quality assurance and quality control, and training for comparing costs and economic benefits of fortification. Smarter Futures is a partnership for Africa of the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, AkzoNobel, Helen Keller International, the Government of the Netherlands, and FFI. See more at www.smarterfutures.net

Now 83 countries have legislation to mandate fortification of at least one industrially milled cereal grain.

  • 82 countries plus the Punjab province in Pakistan have legislation to fortify wheat flour.
  • 13 countries have legislation to fortify maize products.
  • 6 countries have legislation to fortify rice.
See more information and download updated maps on the FFI's Global Progress page.

Visit the FFI homepage HERE.

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