The role of rice fortification in ensuring the nutritional quality of food products in Nigeria has become increasingly important in a country where food security is a growing concern and hidden hunger is a silent epidemic. A seminar organized by Bühler, dsm-firmenich, and TechnoServe, and scheduled to be held on 7 December 2023, in Kano, Nigeria, will bring the topic into focus.
Nigeria’s rich culinary tradition is centered around rice, and it is a staple in every Nigerian household, serving as the basis of almost every meal. But beneath the surface, a crisis persists. Hidden hunger caused by micronutrient deficiency affects millions in Nigeria, particularly women and children. Global evidence shows that persistent micronutrient deficiency leads to serious health issues such as reduced resistance to infectious disease, blindness, lethargy, reduced learning capacity, and even death.
In collaboration with Bühler, dsm-firmenich, a leading innovator in health and provider of nutritional solutions, is committed to combatting hidden hunger through the provision of nutritional solutions such as fortified rice. “Nigeria’s malnutrition is growing steadily due to factors such as suboptimal diets, economic conditions, and environmental change; it poses a great health risk. Rice fortification is one of the most cost-effective interventions in addressing hidden hunger and improving the nutritional footprint of the Nigerian population,” says Sridhar NB, technical business development manager, EMEA & South Asia, dsm-firmenich. Given Nigeria’s substantial rice consumption rate, fortification presents a promising way to boost the nutritional status of millions of people without changing consumption habits.
Rice can be made more nutritious by adding vitamins, minerals, such as iron and folic acid, and other nutrients to replenish micronutrients lost in the milling process, and is a cost-effective way of improving nutritional value. The cost impact is only 1%-4% of the current retail price of rice and a small initial investment in fortification technology and infrastructure can help to provide increased nourishment and deliver numerous health, social, and economic benefits.
Promoting healthy nutrition
Bühler and dsm-firmenich, in collaboration with nonprofit organization TechnoServe, are organizing a seminar with a focus on rice fortification in Nigeria as a vehicle to drive nutritional quality and food security. This seminar, themed Promoting Healthy Nutrition: the impact of rice fortification on food security, will be held on 7 December 2023, in Kano, Nigeria.
Experts and stakeholders will discuss the impact of rice fortification on food security and provide important insights into how it can combat hidden hunger and contribute to a more food-secure future. This is a pivotal step in ensuring that the solution of rice fortification reaches every corner of Nigeria. Innovative rice fortification solutions have the potential to transform food security and Nigeria’s nutrition landscape and lead to better health and improved livelihoods.