FFI Newsletter March 2017
Annual Estimate Shows Increase in Fortified Wheat Flour
Each year we update the amount of industrially milled wheat flour, maize flour, and rice that is fortified. For 2016, we estimate that:
- 34.1% of the world's industrially milled wheat flour is fortified
- 57% of the world's industrially milled maize flour is fortified
- 0.7% of the world's industrially milled rice is fortified
For industrially milled wheat flour, the estimate is up from the 28.1% that was fortified in 2015. The maize flour and rice estimates are about the same as the previous year. We appreciate everyone who responded to our requests for information to update this information.
Details on how we calculate these estimates are in the 2016 Year in Review. The document includes comparisons to the previous year for the number of metric tons of each grain that is available for human consumption and the amount that is industrially milled.
The 2016 Year In Review also highlights our annual accomplishments. In India and Africa in particular, in cooperation with our partners, we were busy guiding, analyzing, and training to lay the groundwork for future fortification. Among the results were a draft regulation likely to affect millions of people in India, an outline of how fortified rice could improve the health of 130 million people in Africa, a maize fortification strategy for Africa, and an online tool to train fortification leaders around the world.
Country Scorecards Available for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Prevention
Scorecards regarding country-level prevention and care for spina bifida and hydrocephalus are now available for every country from the PUSH! Global Alliance. The group’s website launched scorecards for four global regions last year; the remaining two regions were added early this month in conjunction with World Birth Defect Day.
The scorecards serve as a starting point to discuss what can be done to amplify prevention and care efforts. The scorecards are grouped based on World Health Organization regions.
This article describes how the scorecards were created. The authors used our data to determine if a country fortified cereal grains with folic acid through mandatory or voluntary measures.
Spina bifida is a birth defect of the spine that can be mostly prevented if women have at least 400 micrograms of folic acid before conception and in the early days of their pregnancy. The majority of infants with spina bifida also develop hydrocephalus, which is excessive fluid on the brain. Hydrocephalus is usually treated with shunts, and these require regular medical follow-up.
See your country’s scorecard here.
Review Shows Potential of Making Instant Noodles with Fortified Flour
The global demand for instant noodles increased from 92,220 million servings in 2009 to 105,590 million servings in 2013, according to the World Instant Noodle Association. This represents a rise of 3% per year, with
most servings sold in China, Indonesia, Japan, Viet Nam, and India.
We reviewed simulation, nutrient retention and sensory studies of instant noodles made with fortified wheat flour. The conclusion is that nutrients are retained, except for thiamin, and fortification causes no significant sensory changes.
While instant noodles are not the healthiest of meal choices, fortification would increase the nutrient content of this increasingly popular convenience food. See the review article here.
Photo from Flickr Creative Commons
Now 87 Countries Fortify at Least One Cereal Grain
The Pacific Island of Kiribati passed fortification regulations in 2014 and made fortifying wheat flour mandatory in 2016. With this addition, 87 countries now have mandates to fortify industrially milled wheat flour, maize flour, and/or rice. The total includes:
- 67 with legislation for wheat flour
- 14 with legislation for wheat flour and maize flour
- 3 with legislation for wheat flour and rice
- 2 with legislation for wheat flour, maize flour, and rice and
- 1 country with legislation for rice
Download updated maps from our Global Progress page.