The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently working on the development of global guidelines on fortification of several staple foods with vitamins and minerals as part of public health programmes. In addition to staple foods, condiments, spices and seasonings have been proposed as vehicles to increase the intake of vitamins and minerals.
Two University of Illinois scientists are contributing to World Health Organization (WHO) efforts to fortify condiments and seasonings for use in countries with widespread micronutrient deficiencies.
“In some countries where these deficiencies are widespread, there is consistent usealmost a daily doseof certain condiments and seasonings, such as soy sauce in Southeast Asia, at all socioeconomic levels, and there's a real opportunity to correct deficiencies by fortifying these food items,” said Luis A. Mejia, a U of I adjunct professor in food science and human nutrition.
Micronutrient deficiencies are a real problem in Southeast Asia, specifically in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia; and they also occur in West Africa and in Central America, she added.
Mejia pioneered the fortification of sugar with vitamin A in Guatemala as a scientist at the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP), and the program was later expanded to the rest of Central America. …
Micronutrient deficiencies affect the health and cognitive development of at least one-third of the world's population, representing 7.3 percent of all global disease. The World Bank has called micronutrient fortification the most cost-effective of all health interventions.
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