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Flour Fortification Initiative

flour fortificationNourishing smarter, stronger, healthier lives

Background

The Flour Fortification Initiative (FFI) advocates for and provides technical support for fortification of industrially milled cereal grains by collaborating with multi-sector partners. The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a consensus statement endorsing fortification of wheat and maize flour with iron, folic acid, vitamin B 12, vitamin A, and zinc.1 Evidence-based information is also being collected to develop guidelines and technical considerations for rice fortification.2


The CDC supports the FFI through the following activities:

  • Co-funding the global secretariat.
  • Providing technical assistance in scientific issues related to fortification and best practices related to monitoring fortification programs for quality and impact.
  • Serving as a member of the FFI Executive Management Team to provide strategic direction for the initiative.

Status

Currently 78 countries have legislation that mandates fortification of at least one industrially milled cereal grain. Costa Rica is the only country that fortifies wheat flour, maize products and rice. Papua New Guinea is the only country that requires only rice fortification. The most commonly fortified cereal grain product is wheat flour, as 77 countries require its fortification with at least iron and/or folic acid. The combined population of countries with mandatory wheat flour fortification is 2.2 billion. Since 2004, the FFI has helped increase the amount of fortified wheat flour produced by industrial mills worldwide from 18% to 31%.3

Future Plans

The FFI is complementing its wheat flour fortification expertise with advocacy and technical support tools for fortifying maize products and rice. Resources are also being developed to help countries design effective monitoring processes to ensure quality and impact of their fortification programs. More information is available at www.ffinetwork.org
The CDC plans to continue its current activities in support of the FFI.

References

  1. Recommendations on Wheat and Maize Flour Fortification Meeting Report: Interim Consensus Statement - http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/micronutrients/wheat_maize_fort.pdf [PDF–104k]
  2. Consultation: Technical Considerations for Rice Fortification in Public Health, World Health Organization http://www.who.int/nutrition/events/2012_consultation_rice_fortification/en/
  3. Flour Fortification Initiative, About Us, By the Numbers http://www.ffinetwork.org/about/index.html

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