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Government confident of fortified rice stocks

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Government confident of fortified rice stocks

Recently, the Food Secretary has said that the central government is confident of stocking fortified rice, and it has more advantages than disadvantages.

The second phase of fortified rice distribution has started. In this phase the government has launched a massive awareness program to dispel the myths about fortified rice in several states.

Fortified rice distribution started in October 2021. Fortified rice is supplied to the beneficiaries under the following programmes.

  • Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and
  • Prime Minister Nutrition Power Building
  • POSHAN Abhiyaan

Fortified rice and its benefits

  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the process of deliberately increasing the amount of essential micronutrients in food is called fortification. Micronutrients include vitamin and mineral (including trace elements) content.
  • In rice fortification, micronutrients such as iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid are added to enhance the nutritional value.
  • India suffers an annual loss of at least Rs 77,000 crore due to malnutrition, loss of productivity, disease and death. In view of this, fortification will help in tackling malnutrition and anemia in a cost effective manner.
  • Fortified rice will help prevent cretinism (dwarfism), goiter, thyrotoxicosis, brain damage, etc. At the same time, it will also improve the health of the fetus and the newborn.

The recent report:

  • Majority of the tribal population of the country is suffering from diseases like sickle cell anemia, thalassemia and tuberculosis. People with thalassemia, sickle cell anemia and malaria already have excess iron in their bodies. People with tuberculosis are unable to absorb iron.
  • Consumption of foods rich in iron by patients of these diseases can reduce their immunity, and the ability to function of organs.

Rice-Fortification in India

  • In India, rice is fortified using extrusion technology. In this technique the ground rice is pulverized. It is then mixed with a pre-mix containing vitamins and minerals.
  • Fortified rice kernels (FRK) are prepared from this mixture using an extruder machine.
  • FRK is added to traditional rice in the ratio 1:50 to 1:200. The resulting fortified rice is almost identical to traditional rice in aroma, taste and texture.

Source – The Hindu

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