In various UN publications including the 2016 Global Nutrition Report and SDGs, Food Fortification is recognized as playing an important role in achieving more than half of the 17 SDGs goals related to nutrition.
The Government of Indonesia has developed and implemented a large-scale food Fortification program in salt, wheat flour, and cooking oil. Until now, the fortification program still needs development to give maximum impact.
Development of an Archipelagic Food System Based on Resources and Local Wisdom and Improved Nutrition Through Large-Scale Food Fortification (LSFF) to Achieve Quality and Productive Indonesian Human Resources
Cooking oil fortification has been initiated since 2008. However, its implementation to date has not been able to cover 100% of the cooking oil in circulation. Prof. Drajat Martianto, opened the discussion on Mandatory Food Fortification FGD last November-December 2023, by conveying the fact that only 30% of cooking oil in circulation is fortified, namely packaged cooking oil, while the remaining 70% in circulation is bulk oil that has not been fortified. Unfortunately, low-income people, who are the main target of cooking oil fortification, consume more bulk cooking oil than packaged cooking oil. Therefore, cooking oil fortification has not been able to effectively hit the target.
The effectiveness of fortification is highly dependent on the availability of regulations and their enforcement in the field. While efforts to fortify oil are still at the initiative level so that cooking oil fortification is still voluntary, not all packaged palm cooking oil is fortified. A study (2017) surveyed 7 major cities in Indonesia using icheck-chrome for qualitative (semi-quantitative) vitamin A measurement. Bandar Lampung and Padang had more access to vitamin A sufficiency from branded fortified palm cooking oil at around 44% and 50%. The study still found about 74% and 77% of branded palm cooking oil that was not fortified in Medan and South Jakarta, respectively.
Currently, all packaged cooking oils are fortified with vitamin A as the National Standard (SNI) for Palm Cooking Oil has been implemented. However, bulk cooking oil has not been fortified with vitamin A. A representative from the Association of Indonesian Edible Oil Industries (AIMMI), Mr Arief Wibisono, said that the industry is ready and committed to implementing cooking oil fortification. The cost of palm cooking oil fortification is not a big problem. The concern of the industry is the need for harmonisation between MOT, MOI, and BPOM regulations so that the regulation of fortification of packaged cooking oil and bulk cooking oil is consistent. In addition, Mr Arief also said that since there is a DMO (Domestic Market Obligation) policy, producers are required to allocate 30% for Minyakita, so the production of premium packaged cooking oil has decreased in proportion, partly due to price factors that affect demand.
In supporting the transformation of bulk oil into packaged, Prof. Nuri Andarwulan also agreed to harmonise regulations on palm cooking oil fortification by emphasising synchronisation between relevant Ministries and Institutions. In addition, education to the selling public and consumers in handling palm cooking oil needs to be improved to prevent the decline in vitamin A levels due to exposure to sunlight. The industry's expectation from the government is better coordination between ministries andagencies in harmonising regulations.
From the results of the FGD, the steps to transform bulk oil into packaged oil began with testing the effectiveness of palm cooking oil fortification on improving the nutrition of the Indonesian people. This will strengthen the cooking oil industry's commitment to fortification. To this end, KFI is developing a guide for monitoring and evaluation. This guide will help measure the effectiveness of MGS fortification starting from the production stage, circulation, to the impact on consumers. of bulk cooking oil dalam melakukan fortifikasi. Untuk mengupayakan hal tersebut, KFI sedang menyusun panduan untuk monitoring dan evaluasi. Panduan ini nantinya akan membantu mengukur efektivitas fortifikasi MGS mulai dari tahap produksi, peredaran, hingga dampaknya pada konsumen.
Studi dampak fortifikasi sebelumnya menyebutkan bahwa kadar fortifikan 45 IU efektif menaikan kadar serum vitamin A pada responden. Terkait stabilitas vitamin A, hasil studi menunjukkan bahwa pada penyimpanan minyak di tempat tertutup vitamin A stabil dalam waktu 9 bulan, setelah itu mulai mengalami penurunan. Disisi lain perputaran penjualan/konsumsi MGS curah kurang dari satu bulan, sehingga kadar vitamin A masih cukup saat di tangan konsumen. Dari studi inilah, dasar penentuan kadar fortifikan 45 IU ditetapkan dalam SNI. Meskipun demikian, masih diperlukan monitoring dan evaluasi terhadap efektivitas SNI wajib tersebut. Untuk mendukung monitoring dan evaluasi, laboratorium terstandar perlu diperbanyak.
Feasibility Study of Fortification in the Enforcement of SNI Palm Cooking Oil
In addition, research conducted in Tasikmalaya and Ciamis in 2013 (Sandjaya, et al. 2015) showed that consumption of fortified cooking oil improved vitamin A status (serum retinol) in all age groups, especially children aged 6-12 months who were still breastfeeding. Increased vitamin A status in breastfeeding mothers was followed by increased vitamin A status in breastfed infants. Not only that, fortified cooking oil has also succeeded in reducing the prevalence of VAD in various age groups in the study area (Figure 3).
After considering various studies on the benefits of vitamin A fortification in improving the nutritional status of the community, the Ministry of Health encouraged the Ministry of Industry to stipulate the mandatory implementation of Palm Cooking Oil SNI Number 7709 of 2012. SNI regulates in detail the requirements of palm cooking oil produced, the vitamin A content that must be present, namely 45 IU at the industrial level. This amount was set on the basis of the reducible nature of vitamin A due to exposure to light and heat, so the Ministry of Industry stipulated Permenperin 87 of 2013 which regulates various technical matters, including vitamin A levels on the market of at least 20 IU. However, this SNI could only be effectively implemented in 2016 due to political and technical issues. In subsequent developments, the Palm Cooking Oil SNI was revised with a vitamin A/beta carotene content limit of 45IU to be implemented in 2019 (SNI MGS 7709-2019). However, in 2020, the implementation of the mandatory SNI was stopped again due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Thus, although the benefits of fortification have been proven from various studies, these benefits have not been felt by all parties due to the limited scope of fortification, which so far is only in packaged cooking oil. Combined with the issue of the unavailability of fortification in all palm cooking oil in circulation, it is important to conduct vitamin A testing as monitoring for the mandatory implementation of SNI MGS, accompanied by a policy that requires packaged palm cooking oil. The implementation of mandatory packaging of palm cooking oil can begin gradually, from the palm cooking oil industry in Java which is more ready. Along with this, relevant ministries and agencies must synchronise regulations related to food fortification. Strong advocacy through the LSFF forum that is being established is needed. In-depth discussions to formulate the transformation of the dominant cooking oil industry from bulk oil to 100% fortified packaged oil can gradually be conducted in this forum coordinated by Ministry of Development Planning (Bappenas).