Fortified rice, key to ensure health
WFP and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) jointly organized a programmme on 'scaling up rice fortification: regulations and monitoring' at CIRDAP auditorium in the capital recently.
Sarder Abul Kalam Azad, additional secretary to the Food Ministry, attended as the chief guest.
Chaired by Mahfuzul Hoque, chairman of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA), Jeroen Steeghs, head of development cooperation, the Embassy of the Netherlands, Dipayan Bhattacharyya, deputy country director of WFP, and Philip Randall, international expert, spoke on the occasion.
Bengali culture is characterized by consumption of rice, and 70 per cent of the energy requirement of Bangladeshis comes from rice. However, current milling process of rice destroys all the micronutrient that is present in the unpolished rice.
The micronutrient deficiencies are leading to high disease burden and losses productivity, which translates into economic burden due to high healthcare cost and absenteeism from work and education institutions.
Fortification is the practice of deliberately increasing the content of an essential micronutrient such as vitamins and minerals in rice, so as to improve its nutritional quality.