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Br J Nutr. 2001 May;85 Suppl 2:S167-73.

Prospects of fortification of salt with iron and iodine.

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National Institute of Nutrition, Jamai Osmania Post, Hyderabad - 500 007, India.


Fortification of salt with iron has been developed by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) as a strategy for the control of iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) in India, similar to iodization of salt for control of iodine deficiency disorders (IDD). Stability of the iron fortified salt (IFS), its bioavailability and organoleptic evaluation of food items containing the IFS have been demonstrated. Acceptability and effectiveness of the IFS in school children and in multicentric community trials have been demonstrated. With the introduction of universal iodization of salt as a national policy in 1988, NIN has developed a formulation for double fortification (DFS) of salt with iodine and iron. The stability of the nutrients under laboratory conditions along with their bioavailability were found to be good but varying with the quality of salt used. The DFS has been evaluated in controlled trials in tribal communities and in residential school children. The findings of these studies are discussed. Overall, in these trials, DFS effectively controlled iodine deficiency but a clear impact on reducing anaemia was not demonstrated. In residential schoolchildren, increased urinary excretion of iodine as well as reduced anaemia were observed. The quality of salt has been found to be an important determinant of the stability of iodine in DFS. Further evaluation of this potentially important intervention is in progress.

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