Rice fortification is a process of adding vital micronutrients like iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 in milled rice. It is an effective, preventive and cost-efficient strategy to address the micronutrient nutrition problem, thereby preventing anaemia in the Indian population.
In an ambitious attempt to combat the serious problem of anaemia due to malnutrition in the Indian population, especially women and children, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, during his speech on the 75th Independence Day (15th August 2021) made an announcement to mandate rice fortification in all social security schemes by 2024.
Therefore, to ensure the quality and safety of fortified rice distributed through various social security programmes and in the open market, BIS has formulated the following Indian Standards:
i. IS 17780: 2021 ‘Fortified Rice – Specification’ covers the physicochemical, nutritional and packaging requirements and test methods for fortified rice. It specifies the levels of the mandatory fortificants (Iron, folic acid and vitamin B12) and optional fortificants (Zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6). The Standard also covers Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)/Good Hygienic Practices (GHP) for blending fortified rice kernels with fortified rice.
ii. IS 17782: 2021 ‘Fortified Rice Kernels – Specification’ specifies the physical quality, cooking quality, nutritional and packaging requirements and test methods of fortified rice kernels. It provides the limits of fortificants with two different blending ratios i.e., 1:100 and 1:200. It also provides Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)/Good Hygienic Practices (GHP) for manufacturing fortified rice kernels.
iii. IS 17781: 2021 ‘Vitamin & Mineral Premix for Manufacturing Fortified Rice Kernels – Specification’ provides quality specifications and test methods for vitamin & mineral premix for manufacturing fortified rice kernels. It also provides the packaging and storage requirements for vitamin & mineral premix.
In order to ensure compliance with the above standards, it is imperative that the manufacturers are supported by the right quality of equipment for the manufacture of these products. BIS has, therefore, formulated two Indian standards for the specification of these types of equipment, which are as follows:
i. IS 17853: 2022 ‘Equipment for Manufacture of Fortified Rice Kernel – Specification’ prescribes constructional requirements and performance requirements of the various machinery used for the production of fortified rice kernel through the process of extrusion.
ii. IS 17854: 2022 ‘Equipment for Manufacture of Fortified Rice – Specification’ prescribes the constructional requirements and performance requirements of the blending unit and the types used for the manufacture of fortified rice.
Implementation of these Indian standards will ensure that the targeted amount of micronutrients is imparted through the consumption of fortified rice. Substandard products will lead to inadequate levels of the micronutrients in fortified rice, thus defeating the very purpose of rice fortification.
Food and Agriculture Department, BIS