Introductory Training for Micronutrients and Food Fortification Training

The Comprehensive Introduction to Micronutrients and Food Fortification Training is a remote training program that provides an in-depth analysis of key micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and staple food fortification processes.

The course objective is to ensure that participants have a strong working knowledge of:

  • Basic nutrition concepts, micronutrient interventions, and how key micronutrients used in fortification programs function in the body;
  • The process of food fortification as it relates to commonly fortified food vehicles and the components required to establish an effective fortification program.

Trainings include summary documents and slides, relevant readings, and topic-specific self-evaluations. Every week (or a selected time frame agreed upon by the student(s) and facilitator), a different topic accompanied by a topic-specific evaluation is presented to students. Evaluations are reviewed by the facilitator and returned to the student for further learning.

The four modules, which participants move through at their own pace, are:

Basics of (Mal)nutrition

Section I

  • Under-nutrition and how it is measured
  • What are micronutrients and why are they important
  • An introduction to fat soluble and water-soluble vitamins
  • Demystifying recommended daily allowances (RDA), reference nutrient intake (RNI), dietary reference intake (DRI), estimated average requirement (EAR), and upper level (UL)
  • Micronutrient deficiency definitions

Section II

  • Interventions to address micronutrient malnutrition
  • Brief overview of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF), corn-soy blend (CSB), and complementary feeding
  • Elements required to build an effective fortification program
  • An introduction to key players in the field of fortification

Overview of key micronutrients (vitamin A, iron, folic acid, zinc, and iodine)

  • Review of micronutrient from a historical perspective
  • Food sources, forms, and functions
  • Variability of requirements across populations
  • Signs and symptoms of deficiencies and toxicities
  • Deficiency measurements (clinical, functional, and biochemical)
  • Recommended dosage / requirements
  • Nutrient-nutrient interactions
  • Absorption inhibitors
  • Stability
  • Interconnectedness of micronutrient deficiencies and their impact (e.g. the idea that multiple micronutrients impact single outcomes such as anemia)

Industry-specific fortification processes and recommendations

  • Outline of the fortification process for each major staple food vehicle including cooking oil, sugar, maize and wheat flour, salt, and rice
  • Recommended fortification compounds
  • Overview of quality assurance and quality control measures

Relevant fortification program design tools

  • Regulatory monitoring
  • Introduction to the Food Fortification Formulator
  • Costing models

The course was created by Project Healthy Children (PHC). The intended audience includes representatives of government ministries and partner organizations, food producers, food inspectors, and program managers. The course could be used to train staff working on fortification programs or to facilitate a baseline level of knowledge among individuals preparing to work in the area of fortification. Students who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate of completion.

For more information, contact Laura Rowe, FFI Deputy Director: laura.rowe@ffinetwork.org.