The Government today said Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been issued to maintain desired quality standards for implementation of ‘Rice Fortification’.
Rice fortification, a process of adding micronutrients like Iron, Folic Acid and Vitamin B12, is an effective, preventive and cost-efficient complementary strategy to address the challenge of anaemia.
“The Department of Food and Public Distribution is working tirelessly to ensure implementation of ‘Rice Fortification’ to address malnutrition, anaemia and micronutrient deficiencies,” the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said.
According to the Ministry, the storage and research division of the department, is also overseeing the quality standards of finished product from procurement to its distribution through various social security programmes as well as self-declared quality certification from the end of FRK (Fortified Rice Kernels) manufacturers/millers etc.
For smooth implementation of the entire programme and to maintain the desired quality standards under domestic supply chain, a SOP has also been formulated and issued by the Department in March.
In order to maintain the desired quality standards of Fortified Rice Kernels and
Fortified Rice, the SOP clearly narrates the level-wise role and responsibilities of various stakeholders engaged under the ambitious scheme from FRK manufacturing to its distribution to the eligible beneficiaries.
And while the role and responsibilities of various stakeholders are defined by
the Department, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is also playing a vital role in the entire programme.
Initially FSSAI, notified the standards for fortified food including rice also via
Food Safety Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulation, 2018, Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 etc.
FSSAI, empanelled the FRK manufacturers/licensed them, developed various quality certification standards/guidelines for packaging and stencilling of finished product, guidelines on sampling, Technical hand out on Fortification of Rice etc for various operational accomplishments.
FSSAI is also mapping the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited labs under the states which may test the various quality parameters of FRK/FR.