This November 7, we are observing the National Food Fortification Day as mandated by Executive Order 382 which aims to advocate and promote food fortification to address micronutrient deficiency. Food fortification is defined by the Codex Alimentarius as “the addition of one or more essential nutrients to food, whether or not it is normally contained in the food, for the purpose of preventing or correcting a demonstrated deficiency of one or more nutrients in the population or specific population groups. A famous example is Iodized salt which is table salt fortified with Iodine to address Iodine deficiency that causes goiter, cretinism and mental retardation. Salt Iodization is mandated by the ASIN LAW or Republic Act 8172: “An Act Promoting Salt Iodization Nationwide and for other purposes”, signed into law on 20 December 1995.
Food fortification for other micronutrient deficiencies is covered by the Food Fortification Law or Republic Act 8976, “An Act Establishing the Philippine Food Fortification Program and for other purposes” which mandates the fortification of flour, oil and sugar with Vitamin A and flour and rice with iron by 07 November 2004 and promoting voluntary fortification, signed into law on 07 November 2000. Fortified food items contains the Sangkap Pinoy seal as shown in the image above.
Iodized salt contains a diamond Sangkap Pinoy Seal with the label “Saktong Iodine”. Mandatory food items such as rice, flour, sugar and cooking oil that are fortified with iron and vitamin A will also contain a diamond seal with the label “Fortified with Vitamin A and Iron”. Other snack foods and processed food items will contain a square Sangkap Pinoy seal with a smiling sun and the added nutrients are written below it.
The Food Fortification Program serves as a supplement to address micronutrient deficiencies in the country by adding these essential nutrients in staple food items such as rice, flour, sugar, cooking oil and salt. Even though snack food items are also fortified with these nutrients, it is still important to eat a whole foods variety of fruits and vegetables to satisfy your daily nutritional needs.
• Aquino, A.P., Correa, A.B.D. & Ani, P.A.B. (2014). Republic Act No. 8976: Establishing the Philippine Food Fortification Program. FFTC Agricultural Policy Platform (FFTC-AP). Date accessed 05 November 2021. Retrieved from https://ap.fftc.org.tw/article/795
• Department of Health (n.d.). Food Fortification Program. GOVPH. Date Accessed 05 November 2021. Retrieved from https://doh.gov.ph/food-fortification-program
• Radyo Mo Sa Nutrisyon (2019). Crosscutting / Food Fortification. Facebook Page. Date Accessed 05 November 2021. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/radyomosanutrisyon/photos/pcb.2756892124320855/2756891044320963/