Archive for January, 2013

Lessons learned from national food fortification projects: Experiences from Morocco, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam

Wirth J, Laillou A, Rohner F, Northrop-Clewes C, Macdonald B, and Moench-Pfanner R

December 2012, Food and Nutrition Bulletin

Fortification of staple foods has been repeatedly recommended as an effective approach to reduce micronutrient deficiencies. With the increased number of fortification projects globally, there is a need to share practical lessons learned relating to their implementation and responses to project-related and external challenges. In this regards, the achievements, challenges, lessons learned, and management responses associated with national fortification projects in Morocco, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam were documented, utilizing independent end-of-project evaluations reports, national policy documents, project reports from the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and other stakeholders, industry assessments, and peer reviewed articles, were used to document the current responses to challenges and future project plans. All projects had key achievements related to the development of fortification standards and the procurement of equipment for participating industry partners. Mandatory fortification of wheat flour was a key success in Morocco and Uzbekistan. Ensuring the quality of fortified foods was a common challenge experienced across the projects, as were shifts in consumption patterns and market structures. Adjustments were made to the projects’ design to address the challenges faced.

Validation of a user-friendly and rapid method for quantifying iodine content of salt

Rohner F, Garrett G, Laillou A, Frey S, Mothes R, Schweigert F, and Locatelli-Rossi L

December 2012, Food and Nutrition Bulletin

Despite considerable progress made in the past decade through salt iodization programs, over 2 billion people worldwide still have inadequate iodine intake, with devastating consequences for brain development and intellectual capacity. To optimize these programs with regard to salt iodine content, careful monitoring of salt iodine content is essential, but few methods are available to quantitatively measure iodine concentration in a simple, fast, and safe way.  To address this gap, the validation of a newly developed device that quantitatively measures the content of potassium iodate in salt in a simple, safe, and rapid way was assessed by examined independently and in comparison with iodometric titration, using salt samples from several countries. Comparison with the iodometric method showed high agreement between the methods (R2 = 0.978; limits of agreement, –10.5 to 10.0 mg/kg). Therefore, the device offers a field- and user-friendly solution to quantifying potassium iodate salt content reliably. For countries that use potassium iodide in salt iodization programs, further validation is required.