Why dont we fortify milk with iron compound for fighting iron deficiency?
Undoubtedly, food fortification is a simple and low-cost approach to tackle the problem of nutrient deficiencies. But despite its significant health benefits India lags behind adopting food fortification to revolutionise public health.
In 2016, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India released standards for the fortification of five staple food items: rice, wheat, salt, oil, and milk. But still, some established companies such as Mother dairy, have not adopted the milk fortification as the common practice.
There are some factors to consider though:
India is the world largest producer of milk but only and only 35% to 40% of the milk is processed rest all is distributed directly as an unorganised sector. We have a huge challenge to covert the unorganised sector to processed, packaged and eventually fortified milk.
Also, we have large variants of milk such as cow milk, buffalo milk etc and full cream milk, skimmed milk etc. Fortification standards for all the variants are still not in place.
Iron fortification of milk and dairy product is considered as a potential approach to prevent iron deficiency disorder since dairy foods are an important part of the daily diet in most parts of the world.
According to research by Smith Gilliard Nkhata*, Zeynep Ustunol and Ahmed Menevseoglu, Whole milk (Bunda College Student Farm, Lilongwe, MW) was fortified with ferrous bisglycinate (63 mg/kg), ferrous lactate (79 mg/kg) and ferrous sulfate (83 mg/kg). Sensory analysis of which by the panellists were unable to detect insignificant differences in colour. Of all the attributes understudy in pasteurized milk, the taste was scored the lowest in ferrous sulfate microencapsulated which presumably led to it being preferred the least by the panelist.
Fortification of milk has a huge potential, in improving public health and eradicating the nutrients deficiency.
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Citation: Nkhata SG, Ustunol Z, Menevseoglu A (2015) Iron Fortification of Yogurt and Pasteurized Milk. J Nutrition Health Food Sci 3(3): 1-12. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15226/jnhfs.2015.00142
Pursuing B.Tech. Food Technology and Management(22) from NIFTEM. Business world enthusiast.
Iron is naturally present in milk in the form of lactoferrin, but lactoferrin may undergo thermal denaturation during the processing of the milk. Iron salts that are cheaper than lactoferrin are used for the fortification purpose.
Fortified milk helps prevent iron deficiency anemia in children.
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