Sunday, August 16, 2009


National governments world over have policies that aim at protecting the health of their populations through enrichment and/or fortification with nutrients which could be depleted during processing operations by the industry for delivering consumer friendly products. In some countries it is difficult for the industry to add back the nutrients lost during processing because of stringent regulations that bar such additions. Canadian government mandates the food industry there to enrich products like cereal flours and not doing it is punishable by law. The intention of the move is clear as can be seen by the report below:

"The federal government, concerned that Canadian consumers are increasingly buying products without sufficient nutrients, has issued a warning to the food industry that it must stop illegally selling imports made with unenriched flour".

Here is an example of a responsible government that is diligent in protecting the health of its citizens through policy intervention measures. Whether enrichment is desirable in all situations is another issue. In a country like India, since the food industry has not developed to replace natural foods in the diets of the population, enrichment is not considered necessary except in some cases like iodine in salt. In products like wheat flour most consumers prefer whole wheat flour where nutritional depletion is practically nil. Probably enrichment practices may take root once there is a more significant shift from natural foods to processed foods


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