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Experts Believe Fortified Rice Is Leading To Side-Effects Among Adivasis:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Food security related issues.



According to a report, iron-fortified rice should no longer be distributed to address anaemia in places like Jharkhand.

  • These states contain large tribal populations with sickle cell disease, thalassemia, and tuberculosis, all of which can be exacerbated by an excess of iron.



To combat hunger and poor health outcomes among a wide segment of the population, the Union Cabinet approved a programme on April 8 to deliver fortified rice through government-run food programmes.

  • The decision was made following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise during his 2021 Independence Day speech that his government would solely provide fortified rice in all food initiatives by 2024.


What is food fortification?

Food fortification is defined as the practice of adding vitamins and minerals to commonly consumed foods during processing to increase their nutritional value.


Fortified rice:

According to the Food Ministry, fortification of rice is a cost-effective and complementary strategy to increase vitamin and mineral content in diets.

  • According to FSSAI norms, 1 kg fortified rice will contain iron (28 mg-42.5 mg), folic acid (75-125 microgram) and Vitamin B-12 (0.75-1.25 microgram).
  • In addition, rice may also be fortified with micronutrients, singly or in combination, with zinc (10 mg-15 mg), Vitamin A (500-750 microgram RE), Vitamin B1 (1 mg-1.5 mg), Vitamin B2 (1.25 mg-1.75 mg), Vitamin B3 (12.5 mg-20 mg) and Vitamin B6 (1.5 mg-2.5 mg) per kg.


What are the benefits of Fortification?

Since the nutrients are added to staple foods that are widely consumed, this is an excellent method to improve the health of a large section of the population, all at once.

  • It does not require any changes in food habits and patterns of people. It is a socio-culturally acceptable way to deliver nutrients to people.
  • It does not alter the characteristics of the food—the taste, the feel, the look.
  • It can be implemented quickly as well as show results in improvement of health in a relatively short period of time.
  • This method is cost-effective especially if advantage is taken of the existing technology and delivery platforms.


Insta Curious:

What is Biofortification? How is it different from fortification? Reference: read this.



Prelims Link:

  1. Bio fortification vs Genetic modifications.
  2. Micro vs Macronutrients.
  3. Fortified Rice.
  4. Approval for Biofortified and GM crops in India.
  5. GM crops allowed in India?

Mains Link:

What do you understand by fortification of foods? Discuss its advantages.


[Q.2) What are the advantages of food fortification?

    1. It does not require any changes in food habits.
    2. It does not alter the basic characteristics of the food.

Choose the correct answer using the codes given below:

      1. 1 only.
      2. 2 only.
      3. Both.
      4. None. ]

Sources: Hindustan Times.