Millers essential to public health success story Fortifying flour is a great public health success story. Millers add vitamins and minerals to their products, and consumers increase their nutrient intake while eating foods they enjoy. In turn, the population greatly reduces its risk of debilitating anemia from nutritional deficiencies and devas tating birth defects from insufficient folic acid.
42 | February 2016 - Milling and Grain
uccess is only achieved if flour fortification is well implemented and monitored. Unfortunately these two criteria are not always met. A study published in 2015 estimated that less than half the samples from 20 national food fortification programs in 12 countries met the countryâ€™s fortification standard for the relevant staple food. Food inspectors are typically in charge of monitoring flour mills, according to Guidelines on Food Fortification with Micronutrients published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. At the same time, flour millers are responsible for quality implementation. The Food Fortification Initiative (FFI) offers the following suggestions for flour millers to be sure that their products are adequately and consistently fortified. Following these steps will help ensure that fortification meets the public health expectations: Premix Procurement: Choose reputable premix manufacturers which use high-quality nutrients. The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) maintains a list of premix suppliers that meet quality requirements (www.gainhealth.org). Premix Receiving: When premix is delivered, inspect the box to be sure the content has not been damaged in shipment. Confirm that the nutrient content indicated on the certificate of analysis matches what was ordered. Premix Storage: Keep premix away from sunlight, excessive heat and humidity, and potential water damage. Premix Supply: Use the oldest premix first. Also, regularly compare the amount of premix used to the rate of flour produced. Unusual increases or decreases in the amount of premix used indicate problems in fortification procedures. Feed Rate: Check the premix feeder or dosifier hourly and refill it as needed. Also, weigh the amount of premix discharged by the feeder over one to two minutes then compare the result to the weight of premix expected to be discharged over that period. Do this at least once in every eight-hour shift. Iron Spot Test: Conduct this simple, rapid test to indicate qualitatively whether iron has been added to the flour.Â The test involves adding a solution of hydrochloric acid, hydrogen peroxide, and potassium thiocyanate to a flour sample. In a few minutes, dark spots will appear if the flour has been fortified with iron. The presence of iron in fortified flour is considered a proxy