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Adhere to food fortification standards to address malnutrition, manufacturers urged

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The Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Investments, Trade and Industry, Rebecca Miano, has urged all current and prospective manufacturers in the sector to ensure strict adherence to standards, especially on the micronutrient fortification index to address malnutrition in Kenya.

Miano noted that inadequate intake of nutrients is a public health issue of critical concern in the country and around the world.

She emphasised that quantifying food fortification is key to identifying areas of nutrition that require improvement.

“Micronutrient fortification index should serve as a tool and measure to promote transparency and accountability in the food industry. By requiring our manufacturers to observe adherence to specific fortification standards and to regularly assess the micronutrient content and levels of their products, we set a precedence that guarantees consumers of their well-deserved nutritional benefits,” she said.

Speaking during the awarding ceremony of best practice in the Milling Sector by the Kenya Millers for Nutrition, Miano said her ministry is committed to prioritizing food fortification and is keen on ensuring the best practices in food manufacturing while addressing the challenges.

She insisted on ethical manufacturing and strict adherence to regulations and accurate and uniform fortification of manufactured foods and also publicising information to empower consumers to choose healthier food practices.

Miano called for coordination of government and stakeholders in enhancing sustainability and maximizing the impact of food fortification.

She encouraged millers to work on access to nutritious fortified food despite socio-economic status or geographical conditions.

Cereal Millers Association (CMA) Chief Executive Officer, Paloma Fernandes, said the millers want to change the narrative of malnutrition.

Noting that the CMA has been self-regulated, reaching 39 million consumers across the country with fortified nutritious.

Dubbed the Kenya Millers Fortification Index (KMFI) now in its second year with 20 pilot companies has enabled millers to increase maize flour compliance and wheat flour compliance at 50 and 70 pc Paloma called for technical support to improve fortification practices to drive quality and compliance.

Gender and Agri Nutrition Specialist, State Department Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Elizabeth Yegon said the ministry is committed to promoting food and nutrition security in the country recognizing partners in driving the fortification of manufactures.

Yegon said the ministry is focused on promoting millers’ success to safe and quality grains for milling to produce high-quality grains and is cognizant of the food safety challenges in the food chain challenges including the supply of safe and quality grains and food contamination at the consumer level.

“To address these issues, the ministry is building the capacity of local farming communities to produce quality grains and improving post-harvest management while facilitating linkages between millers and suppliers and promoting fair trade practices,” said Yegon.

Gene Gituku
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