Asia Region

Viet Nam became the most recent country to mandate wheat flour fortification when the Prime Minister signed a decree in January 2016. The legislation requires fortification of salt and oil as well as wheat flour.

Wheat flour consumption is increasing as consumption of breads and noodles, and particularly instant noodles, increases. This is causing more countries in this region to consider mandatory wheat flour fortification programs.

To determine consumer acceptability of foods made with fortified wheat flour, a series of tests was conducted on 15 different kinds of noodles and breads commonly eaten in Asia. The foods were fortified with at least iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12 at levels recommended by the World Health Organization. Some foods were also fortified with vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin and zinc. The results, published in 2011, show that:

  • Fortified foods were acceptable in all cases
  • Several iron compounds could be used successfully in these foods
  • Nutrients appear to be retained throughout the food preparation process 

At the same time, rice remains the primary staple food in most countries here. Consequently we support the fortification of both rice and wheat flour throughout Asia.

Fortified rice is available through social safety net programs in Bangladesh, a voluntary market-based approach in Myanmar, a workplace benefit program in Singapore, and a pilot project in Viet Nam. Rice fortification is mandatory in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.

Fortification Legislation Status by Country and Grain

Click on any of the column headings to sort the list by Country, Wheat Flour, Maize Flour, or Rice.

Country Wheat Flour Maize Flour Rice
BhutanNo Fortification----
Brunei DarussalamNo Fortification----
CambodiaNo Fortification--Planning
ChinaNo Fortification--Planning
JapanNo Fortification----
Korea, Democratic People's RepublicNo Fortification----
Korea, Republic ofNo Fortification----
Lao People's Democratic RepublicNo Fortification----
MaldivesNo Fortification----
MyanmarNo Fortification----
PakistanNo Fortification----
SingaporeNo Fortification----
Sri LankaNo Fortification----
ThailandNo Fortification----
Timor-LesteNo Fortification----
Viet NamMandatory----

Asia - Fortification Status

Our definition of the legislative status is:

  • Mandatory: Legislation has the effect of mandating fortification of one or more types of wheat flour, maize flour, and /or rice with at least iron or folic acid.
  • Planning: There is written evidence that the government is acting to prepare, draft, and/or move legislation for mandatory fortification.
  • Voluntary: Most countries allow voluntary fortification. We use this category if at least 50 % of the industrially-milled wheat or maize flour or rice produced in the country is fortified through voluntary efforts.
  • Territory: An area under the jurisdiction of another country, according to the 2015 World Almanac. We assume the territory follows the food regulations of the governing body and will not have its own fortification legislation. See a list of territories.
  • No fortification: None of the above.
  • Dashes in the table below indicate that no information is available. Please send information to

Most fortification legislation mandates address only the most commonly consumed grain in the country. Click on the country name in the table above to see the amount of each grain available in the food supply, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.



Scaling Up Rice Fortification in Asia

16 September 2014

Southeast Asia IAOM District Conference and Expo

08 October 2013

IAOM Southeast Asia 2012

08 October 2012


30 October 2011

Asia Regional Meeting

27 September 2011


Flour Fortification Resulted in 35,500 Healthier Babies Last Year
15 July 2016

2015 Year in Review
23 March 2016

Viet Nam Passes Food Fortification Decree
04 February 2016

Systematic Review Yields Recommendations for Flour Fortification Programs
04 October 2015

Study Links Flour Fortification to Reduced Anemia Prevalence
07 July 2015

Regional Resources

Accelerated Shelf Life Evaluation of Instant Noodles Made with Fortified Flour

Monitoring of Flour Fortification: The Case of Indonesia

Indonesia study recommends using a more bioavailable form of iron in wheat flour fortification

Asian Wheat Flour Products: Impact of Flour Fortification on Organoleptic Properties

Iodizing salt and fortifying flour: The best investment for Viet Nam's national economic development

Viet Nam report on deficiencies of iodine, vitamin A, iron, folic acid, and zinc

Viet Nam Policy Brief in Vietnamese

Fortification recommendations in Vietnamese

Pakistan food fortification scoping study

Regulatory monitoring systems of fortified salt and wheat flour in selected ASEAN countries

Meeting on Regulatory Monitoring of Salt and Flour Fortification Programmes in Asia

Meeting report on implementation in Asia of the recommendations on wheat flour fortification

Frequently asked questions about rice fortification

Fortification recommendations in Mongolian

Material in Chinese