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Open Access Food fortification with vitamin A: The potential for contributing to the elimination of vitamin A deficiency in Africa

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The control of vitamin A deficiency is a realizable goal that needs to be addressed through a combination of interventions. Among these, fortification of commonly eaten foods and condiments has great potential to help realize this goal. Fortification offers a number of strategic advantages, because it is cost effective, builds on existing food processing and delivery systems, and enhances sustainability. Proven vehicles for vitamin A fortification that are relevant for Africa include sugar, oils and fats, and cereal flours. Fortified foods cannot be expected to reach all deficient populations. However, for the large and expanding populations of all socioeconomic classes that regularly purchase and consume commercially processed foods, fortification can make an enormous difference. For those who do not have easy access to commercially processed foods, fortification at community-level mills and the use of encapsulated micronutrient sprinkles are promising technologies. Although most technologies described in this paper are ready for scale-up and large-scale application, there are a number of steps to be undertaken in order to ensure effective programs, including appropriate advocacy and communication, collaboration among several sectors, food regulations and standards, and quality assurance and monitoring.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106
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