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Oleh : Soekirman
Koalisi Fortifikasi Indonesia (KFI)

How is the Future of Food Fortification in Indonesia?  | Indonesian
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Globally, food fortification programs will become a major nutrition programs, as observed in developed countries. For Indonesia, it will depend on several things as follows.

First, the understanding of public on importance of balanced nutrition. Fortification role is to fill the gap when foods do not contain enough vitamins and minerals.

Second, government awareness in considering nutrition programs as investment for national and regional development, especially human resource development. Only with this awareness, the government's obligation to implement and monitor Food fortification programs listed in the Food Act 1996, can be accomplished.

It requires professional community nutrition education efforts through social marketing for behavior change both of both public and governments. Conventional nutrition and community health education which has been done through self-management of government projects may not be effective to change attitudes and behavior. These will not be effective in facing media commercials which are quite aggressive and frequently in conflict with the principle of balanced nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle. Such as cigarette advertising, milk formula, dietary supplements with promises that are often misleading, snack foods high in fat and sugar, etc.

Third, the future of fortification depends also on the success of both salt iodization and flour fortification. Special attention is required for remote and isolated areas with high endemic of iodine deficiency. Their percentage of household iodized salt consumption is well below the national average (73%). For this particular area, advocacy to local government is required to emphasize on the danger of low IQ population. Serious efforts should be done to motivate people to buy and consume adequately iodized salt.

For fortification of wheat flour, the government should immediately conduct a research or study to determine the effectiveness of this program in reducing the prevalence of anemia such as demonstrated in other countries.

Furthermore, the future of fortification also depends on the results of initiatives in complementary feeding to breast feeding for children 6-24 months and progress in oil fortification with vitamin A. Some nutrition experts have great expectation for the "sprinkles" or Taburia as a breakthrough on nutritional technology to prevent and address the problem of malnutrition (including micronutrient deficiencies) in children under fives from poor families. The degree of success in cooking oil fortification with vitamin A will determine the future of vitamin A capsule supplementation program. Substitution of supplementation with fortification means saving the state budget, as the cost of fortification programs is relatively much cheaper and more effective than supplementation.

"At this time there is no technology that promises so great opportunity to improve the quality of life at a cost so low and with the effects seen in so little time such as fortification " ..according to the World Bank.

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