Food FortificationEn Français
- Due to a lack of resources and vitamin-rich foods, many developing nations are plagued with micronutrient deficiencies that lead to anemia, diarrhea, and/or blindness-related diseases.
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can negatively impact the health and survival of women and children. It has especially negative consequences on the growth and educational performance of children, and can adversely affect pregnancies.
What HKI Is Doing
To help control micronutrient deficiencies, HKI implements and advocates for a variety of effective and inexpensive in-home solutions that allow families to fortify their own home-cooked meals on a daily basis.
- Sprinkles: This in-home fortificant consists of a powdered mix of multiple micronutrients in single-dose sachets that can be added to home-cooked meals on a daily basis. It is most often added to rice or porridge, which on their own don’t contain an adequate supply of micronutrients. A number of studies around the world have shown that Sprinkles effectively reduces anemia in children and women.
- In Indonesia, following the 2004 tsunami, HKI, working with H.J. Heinz & Co. Inc., distributed a free, short-term supply of Vitalita (as Sprinkles is known locally) sachets to the parents or caretakers of 200,000 children in affected areas. This innovative public-private partnership is considered the largest distribution program of Sprinkles ever undertaken. HKI implemented a similar program after the 2005 earthquake.
- In India, HKI led an effort to design and launch a pilot Sprinkles distribution study in Maharashtra State to combat the grave problem of anemia in children. Working closely with the government, Sprinkles was distributed through its Anganwadi system (child- and mother-care centers) and was found to be successful in reducing anemia in children. This project was completed in 2008, although the model could be scaled up.
- In Cambodia, HKI has successfully worked with the local health centers to distribute Sprinkles to mothers and train them about the best practices and advantages of adding them to their home-cooked meals.
- Iron supplementation for anemia. Iron deficiency can result in anemia, which, in turn, adversely affects the production and retention of blood and causes susceptibility to other diseases. HKI provides in-home fortification and iron supplements for pregnant women. On a large-scale basis, HKI’s initiative, Fortify West Africa, aims to require mandatory fortification of wheat flour with iron and folic acid throughout the region.
- Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTFs), such as Plumpy’Nut®, are nutrient-rich pastes that are specifically designed for the treatment of severe malnutrition. They are easy to store in the home with minimal risk of contamination, and can be fed to children directly from the foil package with no further preparation required. RUTFs are distributed to caregivers to treat malnutrition as part of our Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition program.
- Recent News
- A Change Sweeps Across West Africa
- Cameroon: Balanced diet training ends in Douala
- Food Fortification in Cameroon: Strengthening the Public's Health
- Key Publications
- Passion in the Private Sector Leads to Mandatory Flour Fortification
- Selling Sprinkles micronutrient powder reduces anemia, iron deficiency, and vitamin A deficiency in young children in Western Kenya: a cluster-randomized controlled trial.
- New World Health Organization guidelines and Home Fortification Technical Advisory Group program guidance on the use of multiple micronutrient powders for home fortification of foods for pregnant women and young children.