TechnoServe Nigeria has collaborated with BASF, a global manufacturer of micronutrients and BioAnalyt to train processors on quality control in food fortification.
TechnoServe Nigeria through its Strengthening African Processors of Fortified Foods (SAPFF) initiative is increasing compliance of processors in the fortification of their products with essential micronutrients by understanding their challenges and helping them in closing the gaps.
The regional training which took place in Lagos and Owerri respectively, provided edible oil processors insight on the real cost of fortification, global best practices and reinforced the role of processors in improving the health and economy of the nation through their commitment to compliance.
Speaking at one of the sessions held recently, the Program Manager – SAPFF, TechnoServe Nigeria, Ms. Ayodele Tella, said the training sought to address challenges affecting processors in fortifying their products with Vitamin A and how to get fortification right.
Tella, who indicated that the cumulative effects of malnutrition, some of which lead to increase in healthcare spending and reduced productivity of the citizen, added that such cost the country about 10 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product.
According to her, food fortification remains the most cost-effective method of reducing micro-nutrient deficiency in the country. She stressed that Nigeria needed to spend about $50 million on it annually for its 200 million people, going by the World Health Organisation’s cost for food fortification of $0.5 to $0.25 per person per year.
“TechnoServe is doing this by using a first time market-based approach to solving the problem of low industry compliance,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Claus Soendergaard, global application specialist, Food Fortification & Technical Marketing, BASF, who trained the processors on quality control and compliance, stated that food fortification was a long-term and complementary strategy to tackle hidden hunger.
Also the managing director, BioAnalyt, Mrs. Anna Zhenchuk, who participated in training the processors, noted that Vitamin A has more stability in oil than in sugar because the air around it can penetrate the particles and is a natural environment for oil.