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Open Access Fortification of Indonesian unbranded vegetable oil: Public–private initiative, from pilot to large scale

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Background. Despite improved economic conditions, vitamin A deficiency remains a public health problem in Indonesia.

Objective. This paper aims to describe the development of the Indonesian unbranded cooking oil fortification program and to discuss lessons learned to date and future steps necessary for implementation of mandatory, large-scale oil fortification with vitamin A.

Methods. An historic overview of the steps involved in developing the Indonesian unbranded cooking oil fortification program is given, followed by a discussion of lessons learned and next steps needed.

Results. Indonesia's low-income groups generally consume unbranded vegetable oil, with an average consumption of approximately 25 g/day. Unbranded oil constitutes approximately 70% of the total oil traded in the country. In 2007–10, a pilot project to fortify unbranded vegetable oil was carried out in Makassar, and an effectiveness study found that the project significantly improved the serum retinol concentrations of schoolchildren. In 2010, the pilot was expanded to two provinces (West Java and North Sumatra) involving the biggest two national refineries. In 2011, a draft national standard for fortified oil was developed, which is currently under review by the National Standard Body and is expected to be mandated nationally in 2013 as announced officially by the Government of Indonesia in national and international meetings.

Conclusions. Indonesia is a leading world supplier of cooking oil. With stakeholder support, the groundwork has been laid and efforts are moving forward to implement mandatory fortification. This project could encourage Indonesian industry to fortify more edible oils for export, thus expanding their market potential and potentially reducing vitamin A deficiency in the region.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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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