February 08, 2016

08/02/2016: Field-suitable rapid test documented for rice fortification


by Sarah Zimmermann, Food Fortification Initiative 

First published in Milling and Grain, November 2015 

Two rapid qualitative procedures to detect iron-fortified rice kernels have been validated and documented for use in non-laboratory settings. For example, customs inspectors can use either of these procedures to test rice imports without holding cargo while waiting for lab results. Regulatory monitoring personnel can also use these techniques with domestically produced fortified rice. 

The newly documented procedures are simple tools that can be used regardless of how the fortified rice kernels are produced. They do not require complicated equipment or precise measurements. The chemicals can be stored safely and used without the need for hazardous waste disposal systems. 

Companies that produce fortified rice kernels have used a rapid, qualitative procedure for internal quality control and quality assurance for some time. However these testing techniques were often developed for the company’s specific product or were not intended for non-laboratory settings. From these existing methods, the Food Fortification Initiative (FFI) identified two procedures that are suitable for non-laboratory settings. 

Both rely on chemical reactions with iron to change the color of the iron-fortified kernels. FFI successfully used one procedure in a regulatory monitoring training workshop in the Solomon Islands in August 2015 and demonstrated it during the Global Summit on Food Fortification in September 2015. 
Read the full article in Milling and Grain HERE.   

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