A significant milestone in India took place in October 2016 when the Food Safety Standards Authority of India published draft standards for food fortification. The draft for wheat flour fortification is in line with global fortification recommendations for iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid. In May 2017, India recognized food fortification early adopters.
Momentum for wheat flour fortification is building in Haryana State as multiple international partners work with state leaders to consider options. Based on an analysis of the wheat flour supply chain in Haryana, it appears that fortifying atta flour for the mid-day meal, infant child development, and public distribution systems could have a significant health impact. See this example of media coverage of FFI meetings with Haryana leaders in January 2016.
In 2000, the Darjeeling district of West Bengal became the first place in India to fortify wheat flour. Now we estimate that 7.6% of the industrially milled wheat flour in India is fortified.
Flour fortification is supported by the government of India, several state governments and their ministries and departments dealing with cereal grains and food distribution. Active involvement of international agencies, national health and nutrition research institutions, and flour milling professionals have contributed toward wheat flour fortification.
Most fortified flour in India is distributed in the government’s welfare system. We are working with public, private, and civic sector partners to expand fortification to all types of flour in the open market and to expand coverage to all states.
The amount of rice and wheat in India's food supply is almost equivalent, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. In 2011, the most recent year for which data are available, the amount of milled rice in the national food supply was 196 grams per person per day; the amount of wheat was 161 grams per person per day. Fortified rice is available through social safety net programs in the states of Odisha and Karnataka.