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Food Nutr Bull. 2012 Dec;33(4):296-307.

Rice fortification: an emerging opportunity to contribute to the elimination of vitamin and mineral deficiency worldwide.

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Centre for Health Innovation and Partnership, NSW Health Bldg 52B, Cumberland Hospital, 5, Fleet Street, North Parramatta, NSW 2151, Australia.


Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are ranked among the top causes of poor health and disability in the world. These deficiencies damage developing brains, impair learning ability, increase susceptibility to infections, and reduce the work productivity of nations. Food fortification is a sustainable, cost-effective approach to reducing vitamin and mineral deficiency. As the staple food for an estimated 3 billion people, rice has the potential to fill an obvious gap in current fortification programs. In recent years, new technologies have produced fortified rice kernels that are efficacious in reducing vitamin and mineral deficiency. There are opportunities to fortify a significant share of rice that comes from large mills supplying centralized markets and national welfare programs in major rice-growing countries. The rice export markets, which handle 30 million MT of rice annually, also present a key fortification opportunity. The cost of fortifying rice is only 1.5% to 3% of the current retail price of rice. Countries that mandate rice fortification have the strongest evidence for achieving wide coverage and impact. The Rice Fortification Resource Group (RiFoRG), a global network of public and private partners that offers technical and advocacy support for rice fortification, has a vision of promoting rice fortification worldwide. It has a targeted approach, engaging multisector partners in key countries where the opportunities are greatest and there is receptivity to early adoption of large-scale rice fortification. The challenges are real, the imperative to address them is powerful, and the opportunities to deliver the promise of rice fortification are clear.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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