Commercial monitoring involves checking retail sites to see if foods made with fortified flour are available and whether they are labeled appropriately. Commercial monitoring will also indicate whether imported flour and flour-based foods are fortified.
Samples of fortified flour and foods made with fortified flour (domestically produced or imported) can also be sent to laboratories to ensure that they meet the country’s fortification standard. More than one sample from each manufacturer may be needed to provide an accurate measurement of compliance. Manufacturers that consistently do not meet the country’s standard may deserve closer inspection at the flour mill, or the retail site may need to revise its storage conditions.
If commercial monitoring indicates that sample products do not meet national fortification standards, more work is needed to determine the reason for non-compliance. Identifying the problem will require that strong internal and external monitoring systems are in place.
For more information, see chapter 8.2.3 of the Guidelines for Food Fortification with Micronutrients published by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
A child looks on as a man buys bread from a corner shop near Nairobi, Kenya. Photo copyright by David Snyder of the CDC Foundation.