Quality control training in food fortification for processors
Small and medium scale edible oil processors have received quality control training in food fortification, for efficient delivery of Vitamin A in their products.
Organized by TechnoServe, Nigeria in collaboration with BASF, the regional training took place in Lagos and Owerri, Imo State, provided insights into the real cost of fortification, global best practices, while reinforcing the role of processors in improving the health and economy of the nation through their commitment to compliance.
According to Program Manager – SAPFF, TechnoServe, Ms. Ayodele Tella, the training is designed to address the challenges affecting processors in fortifying their products with Vitamin A and how to get fortification right, starting from procurement of the vitamin fortificant, to storage, application and internal monitoring and control.
Tella indicated that the cumulative effects of malnutrition, some of which are increase in healthcare spending and reduced productivity of the citizen, costs the country about 10 per cent of its gross domestic product, which is currently at $420b.
She noted that food fortification remains the most cost effective method of reducing micro-nutrient deficiency in the country, adding that Nigeria needs to spend about $50m on it yearly for its 200 million people, going by the World Health Organisation’s cost for food fortification of $0.5 to $0.25 per person per year.
Global application specialist – Food Fortification & Technical Marketing, BASF, Mr. Claus Soendergaard, who anchored the Quality Control and Compliance segment of the training, stated that food fortification is a long-term and complementary strategy to tackle hidden hunger.
He advised processors to always protect their Vitamin A, as well as products already fortified with it from sunlight, as excessive light penetration causes a certain amount of degradation.
Soendergaard trained the processors on how to calculate the dosage of Vitamin A in a litre of oil. He specified that 23IU/g is the recommended dosage by the Nigerian government for edible oil fortification with Vitamin A.
Managing Director, BioAnalyt, Mrs. Anna Zhenchuk, on her part, noted that Vitamin A has more stability in oil than in sugar because the air around it can penetrate the particles and is a natural environment for oil.
A participant, who is the factory manager, Apple & Pears Limited, Mr. Mark Eneh, said the knowledge acquired from the training was significant to their business.
Similarly, Mr. Adams Muyideen Olalekan, quality control analyst at SLABMARK Nigeria Limited said that his organisation has always complied with Vitamin A fortification for its oil.
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