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PIA Press Release

Food agency calls on Capiceņos to use fortified products

by Jemin B. Guillermo

Roxas City (3 February) -- The government is reminding the public to eat iron-fortified rice.

Capiz National Food Authority Provincial Manager Procopio Trabajo II said that the public should be health conscious by buying fortified products, particularly rice.

Trabajo stressed that eating iron-fortified rice (IFR) prevents anemia or lack of hemoglobin in the blood, makes the body stronger and the brain more alert as well as helps fight infection.

He said that the IFR is good for the public, particularly the pregnant or breastfeeding women as well as growing children.

Trabajo disclosed that late last year, the NFA here was already equipped with a rice fortification equipment to cater to the micronutrient needs of Capiceņos.

He said that with the acquisition of said equipment, the food agency here had already started producing and distributing 100 percent iron fortified rice through its accredited rice outlets in Capiz.

"In buying IFR, let us see to it that the rice has the fortificant or the yellowish colored iron rice premix," Trabajo said, adding that "in cooking said rice, we should not remove the fortificant so that its nutrient content would stay."

"Washing the rice should only be once or twice. The cooked rice is grayish which is the effect of the iron fortificant," he stressed.

The Food Fortification program is the government's response to the growing micronutrient malnutrition, which have been prevalent in the Philippines for the past several years.

Republic Act 8976, otherwise known as the Philippine Food Fortification Act of 2000, was signed on November 7, 2000 which establishes the Philippine Food Fortification Program covering all local and imported processed food products for sale or distribution for human consumption in the Philippines, except for dietary supplements where standards have already been prescribed.

Accordingly, the law applies to all manufacturers, producers, importers, traders, retailers and repackers of foods.

Food Fortification is the addition of "Sangkap Pinoy" or micronutrients such as Vitamin A, Iron and/or Iodine to food, whether or not they are normally contained in the food, for the purpose of preventing or correcting a demonstrated deficiency with one or more nutrients in the population or specific population groups. (PIA) [top]

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