The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has decided to operationalise draft amendment regulations regarding standards of vitamin and mineral premix used for manufacturing fortified rice kernels (FRKs). These amendment regulations define limits for addition of micronutrients in vitamin and mineral premix used to make FRKs.
Fortified rice kernels are either coated rice kernels or extruded rice-shaped kernels prepared with a premix of vitamins and kernels.
In its latest order, the food safety authority noted that the amendment regulations were being operationalised to strengthen the national fortification programme.
The food safety authority noted that the finalisation of amendment regulations post consideration of stakeholder comments are likely to take some time.
“Meanwhile, to strengthen the national fortification programme and its implementation, it has been decided to operationalise the provisions related to the limits of micronutrients in vitamin and mineral premix for manufacturing of FRK with immediate effect,” the FSSAI stated in an order dated November 17.
These standards define the permissible limits for addition of micronutrients per 100 g of vitamin and mineral premix, (considering the 2 per cent rate of addition in manufacturing FRK).
As per the operationalised amendment regulations, the limits of vitamin B9, also known as folic acid, have been set at 45-55 mg per 100 gms of the premix. For Vitamin B12, limits have been set at 0.45 -0.55 mg per 100 gms of the premix. For iron (Ferric pyrophospate) limit has been set at 17-20 g per 100 gms of the vitamin and mineral premix. For Sodium Feredetate, the limit has been set at 8-10 gm per 100 gm of the premix used to manufacture FRK.
The Centre’s fortified rice programme aims to supply fortified rice in all States and Union Territories through targeted public distribution system by 2024 in a phased manner.
Meanwhile, FSSAI has also released guidelines for sampling of fortified rice kernels (FRK) and fortified rice (FR) and vitamin mineral premix (VMP) for FRK. “The prescribed method of sampling are designed to ensure that fair and valid sampling procedures are used, when FRK, FR and VMP for FRK are being tested for compliance with a particular commodity standard,” the food safety authority said.