Food Fortification Program in the Philippines (RA 8976)

Definition

The Food Fortification Program is the Philippine government’s response to the growing micronutrient malnutrition, which has been prevalent in the country for the past several years.

Mandate

Republic Act 8976, “An Act Establishing the Philippine Food Fortification Program and for other purposes” mandating fortification of flour, oil and sugar with Vitamin A and flour and rice with iron by November 7, 2004 and promoting voluntary fortification through the SPSP, Signed into law on November 7, 2000

  • ›There are 139 processed food products with SangkapPinoySeal with 83% with vitamin A, 29% with iron and 14% with iodine (2008)
  • ›37% of the products are snack foods
  • ›Most of the products FDA analyzed are within the standard
  • ›Based on 2003 NNS Households’ awareness of SPS- and FF-products is 11% and 14%, respectively, in 2008 awareness is 11.6%
  • ›Although awareness is low, usage of SPS-products is 99.2%

Food fortification is the addition of Sangkap Pinoy or Micronutrient such as vitamin A, iron and iodine to food, whether or not they are normally contained in the food, for the purposes of preventing or correcting demonstrated deficiency with one or more nutrients in the population or specific population groups.

Sangkap Pinoy nutrients or micronutrients are vitamins and minerals required by the body in very small quantities. These are essential in maintaining a strong, healthy, and active body and a sharp mind; and, for women, to bear healthy children.

[highlight]November 7 is Food Fortification Day[/highlight]

Objectives

The following are the objectives of the Food Fortification Program:

  1. To provide the basis for the need for a food fortification program in the Philippines: The Micronutrient Malnutrition Problem
  2. To discuss various types of food fortification strategies
  3. To provide an update on the current situation of food fortification in the Philippines

Vitamin A Supplementation

Vitamin A (Retinol) is an essential micronutrient needed by the body for normal sight, growth and reproduction.

Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) is a condition characterized by depleted liver stores and low blood levels of vitamin A due to prolonged insufficient dietary intake of the vitamin followed by poor absorption or utilization in the body.

›VAD affects children’s  proper  growth,   resistance    to  infection, and chances of survival (23 to 35% increased child mortality), severe deficiency results to blindness, night blindness and bitot’s spot

Prevalence of Vitamin A Deficiency:
1993, 1998, 2003, 2008
(DOST – FNRI, NNS)

Physiological State 1993 1998 2003 2008
6 months – 5 yrs. 35.3 38.0 40.1 15.2
Pregnant 16.4 22.2 17.5 9.5
Lactating 16.4 16.5 20.1 6.4

WHO Cut – off Point to be considered a public health problem = >15%

Iron Supplementation

  • ›Iron – an essential mineral and is part of hemoglobin, the red protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the cells
  • ›Iron Deficiency Anemia – condition where there is lack of iron in the body resulting to low hemoglobin concentration of the blood
  • ›IDA results in premature delivery, increased maternal mortality, reduce ability to fight  infection and transmittable diseases and low productivity

Iodine

  • ›Iodine -a mineral and a component of the thyroid hormones
  • ›Thyroid hormones – needed for the brain and nervous system to develop & function normally
  • ›Iodine Deficiency Disorders refers to a group of clinical entities caused by inadequacy of dietary iodine for the thyroid hormone resulting into various condition e.g. goiter, cretinism, mental retardation, loss of IQ points

Progress in the Philippines towards the Elimination of IDD, 1998-2008

Indicator Goal* Achievements
1998 2003 2008
Proportion of Households using Iodized Salt, % >90 9.7  56.0 81.1
Median Urinary Iodine, ug/L
6-12 yrs. 100-200 71 201 132
Lactating Women 100-200 111 81
Pregnant Women 150-249 142 105
Proportion < 50µg/L, % < 20
6-12 yrs. 35.8 11.4 19.7
Lactating Women 23.7 34.0
Pregnant Women 18.0 25.8

*ICC-IDD 2007

Reference

  1. Food Fortification Program via Department of Health Website
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