In partnership with Hexagon Nutrition, the Centre of Excellence for Food Fortification (CEFF) at National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM), Haryana is inaugurating the Rice Fortification Unit on 24 June 2022. The installation of the rice fortification unit at CEFF is a step towards building a healthy nation. The unit is a composite indigenously made Rice Fortification Unit plant as it has a Fortified Rice Kernel (FRK) unit and the Blender. The unit conforms to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and shall provide “hands-on training” to the food industry partners and other stakeholders to manufacture different varieties of FRKs and blend them with suitable variety of rice for fortification.
With the addition of this unit, CEFF is aiming to enhance its focus on their vision of addressing the issues related to micronutrient malnutrition by providing fortified rice along with fortified wheat flour and fortified edible oil.
The rice fortification unit shall be inaugurated by Pashupati Kumar Paras, the Hon'ble Union Minister, MOFPI Government of India, in the esteemed presence of Prahlad Singh Patel , Hon’ble Union Minister of State, MOFPI Government of India; Anita Praveen , Hon’ble chancellor, NIFTEM & Secretary, MOFPI Government of India; Chindi Vasudevappa, Hon'ble vice chancellor, NIFTEM; Arun Kelkar, chairman, Hexagon Nutrition; and Arun Om Lal, senior vice president, Hexagon Nutrition.
Our Hon'ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has shared his keen insights on the significance of rice fortification via a tweet- "Malnutrition and lack of micro-nutrients are affecting the growth of poor children." In keeping with his vision and values, in April 2022, Union Cabinet approved the distribution of fortified rice to the poor via different government schemes such as ICDS, PDS, and MDMs.
Rice Fortification is a process to improve the nutritional quality of the rice by increasing the content of essential macro and micronutrients i.e., minerals and vitamins. Fortified Rice Kernels (FRKs) are generally added to regular rice in a ratio of 1:99 to make fortified rice that adds to the nutritional value of rice. Commonly added fortificants include Vitamins B9 and B12 and iron. In traditional rice milling, the white rice loses some nutrients, an issue that the government is trying to solve with fortification.
The Centre of Excellence for Food Fortification (CEFF) is the first of its kind center that aims to provide a holistic and solution to issues related to staple food fortification. It has been established at the National Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM), Haryana, which is the brainchild of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) Government of India and aims to assist in setting up food standards, businesses incubation actively and can also include knowledge sharing. Hexagon Nutrition is a differentiated and research-oriented pure-play nutrition company addressing the alleviation of malnutrition and daily nutritional requirements across demographics.