Fortified nov2021Whenever people come across commercials for the newest chips or chocolate drink for children, a part of the ad focuses on the product being fortified with various micronutrients like Vitamins A, B, and iron.

Food fortification simply refers to the addition of micronutrients to processed foods. The Philippine Food Fortification Act of 2000 (Republic Act No. 8976) shares that the Food Fortification Day shall be observed every seventh of November.

The law recognizes that there are nutritional deficiencies in the Philippines, particularly in iron, Vitamin A, iodine, thiamin, and riboflavin. Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, calcium, and folate are also being looked at as nutrients which are lacking in the Filipino staple diet. This is why the government pushed for the passing of the law, as fortification of food makes up for the loss of nutrients when foods are processed or stored.

Under the program, there are two major types of fortification: voluntary and mandatory. As the name suggests, voluntary means fortification is highly encouraged for manufacturers of processed food. Meanwhile, under mandatory, the fortification of staple foods like rice, wheat flour, refined sugar, cooking oil, and salt will be required.

This shall be based on the standards set by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is why these products that people purchase in public markets or groceries are now have various nutrients added, like Vitamin A, iron, and iodine. This is also the same reason why even if Filipinos will only buy crackers, chips, chocolate, and other snacks usually meant for children, there are nutrients included to make sure that there is about level of nourishment provided.

Nutrition is essential for the daily lives of Filipinos. Being healthy and fit does not only depend on exercise itself, but also on the food one eats, and the quality of their intake. This includes taking the recommended allowances for macros, micros, and to ensure a healthy body and a better life for Filipinos. #NASLabordo