Food fortification (also known as food enrichment) is the process of adding micronutrients to food. This is done to add trace elements/ vitamins in food to address micronutrient deficiencies. Tata Chemicals, recently launched country’s first double fortified salt, Tata Salt Plus-salt with iodine plus iron.
It is aimed at curing and preventing the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia. It is the first iron fortified iodized salt that provides up to up to 50% of Recommended Daily Allowance of Iron.
Tata Salt Plus is the long-awaited result of a twenty year research on double fortification technology developed by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad. This technology was offered to Tata Chemicals under a long-term MoU after due studies on bio-availability across the population strata conducted and published by NIN.
What is Double-fortified salt?
Double-fortified salt is a public health tool for delivering nutritional iron. It is salt fortified with both iodine and iron.
Though it gives small but crucial amounts of both iodine and iron to people through the diet.
Ingredients of Tata Salt Plus (Iodine Plus Iron)
Double fortified salt contains:
- Refined common salt (100%)
- Potassium Iodate, KIO3 (0.0067%)
- Ferrous sulphate hepta hydrate, FeSO4.7H2O (0.508%)
- Sodium hexa meta phosphate (1%)
This salt provides simultaneously 40 µg iodine and 1000 µg iron per gram of Double fortified salt.
Formulation Developed By
National Institute of Nutrition Hyderabad.
In 1980s, National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad developed Iron Fortified Salt (IFS). The efficacy cum effectiveness trials of IFS were conducted in five regions of the country. It was found that IFS intervention led to an increase in Hemoglobin (Hb) levels.
However, in 1986, Universal Salt Iodization (USI) policy was adopted in the country. Under this policy, all edible salt was to be iodized.
Government of India decided that of two types of salt i.e. IFS and Iodized Salt (IS) in a population would create operational difficulties in monitoring of iodine content of salt and hence IFS was given low priority.
The National Institute of Nutrition continued its efforts in the field of fortification of Salt with micronutrients and developed Double Fortified Salt (DFS) in 1986 to address dual problem of iron and iodine deficiency simultaneously. Double fortified salt containing both iodine and iron controls the twin problems of iodine deficiency disorders and iron deficiency anemia.
Salt is fortified with 1 mg of iron and 30 to 40 µg of iodine per gram.
So adding one spoonful (approximately 10 grams) of salt in a dish, enhances its iron content.
It adds about 10 mg of iron to dish which is 56–125% of the RDA of iron.
Tata Chemicals Limited (TCL), leading private manufacturer of salt.
Price of Tata Salt Plus:
Tata Salt Plus is priced at Rs. 25.00/kg.
How much iron is required daily?
The average daily iron intake from foods and supplements is approximately 14 mg – 16 mg in children, 19-20 mg/day in men and 17–19 mg/day in women.
Benefits of Tata Salt Plus (Iron + Iodine)
- It is double fortified.
- It supplies both iodine and iron.
- This formulation has been endorsed by a committee set up by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).
- It is beneficial in iodine deficiency disorders and iron deficiency anemia.
- When a person eat approximately 10 grams of salt per day through the diet, it will provide 10 mg of iron and 150 µg of iodine or 56–125% of the RDA of iron and 100 percent of the RDA of iodine.
- It is the simplest and most economical way to get iron.
- It is suitable for children also, who often do not like to eat vegetables and iron supplements.
What is the need of Iron fortified Salt?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Database on Anemia, 24.8 percent of the world’s population is anemic. It affects every age group and women and children are the worst sufferer.
Iron supplementation is present but it is not available to everyone.
The alternative approach, is to fortify salt with iron as it is consumed by everybody in more or less quantity.
Tata Salt Plus contains Iron which can cause darkening of metallic utensils (spoon, containers etc.). Therefore store it in plastic or glass containers.
Some food items like pulses, rice, potato and vegetables may turn dark on addition of Tata Salt Plus.