Food Fortification / Fortification Process

What is a Premix? Types of Premixes and Their Applications

Delivering better nutrition through food fortification

Micronutrients being non-energy yielding group of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals has a minuscule demand in the body. When consumed in small amounts, it ensures optimal health and well-being.

Micronutrient deficiencies is a silent epidemic of vitamin and mineral deficiencies affecting people of all ages and gender. Often referred to as ‘Hidden Hunger’, largely goes unnoticed in individuals, since it is harder to identify visually and gets far less attention than it warrants. Hidden hunger is particularly detrimental to vulnerable populations as young children, women of child bearing ages and the poorest populations in developing countries.

In today’s lifestyle, micronutrient deficiencies are not only observed in lower socioeconomic group but through all social class of people. There are increased food choices, yes, but low in micronutrient densities.

The intake of micronutrients in daily diet is far from satisfactory and largely less than 50% RDA is consumed by over 70% of Indian population (1). Food Fortification is one approach to mitigate the symptoms of micronutrient deficiencies.

Fortification means adding key vitamins and minerals like iron, iodine, zinc, Vitamin A and D to foods which are either absent or present in small amounts.

For fortifying food, supplements or staples, why should one consider using a nutrient premix? What is a Premix?

A Premix is a commercially prepared customised blend where each nutrient component is prescaled and precision blended into a premix.

Premixes for food fortification includes ingredients like vitamins, minerals, nucleotides, amino-acids and other functional ingredients.

Developing premixes is a very precise process involving finding the right balance in the use of metabolically active nutrients and compounds. Formulations are designed based on RDAs or as per requirements.

Types of Premixes and their applications:

Vitamin Premix: This includes both water-soluble vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 and C) and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) can come in liquid or spray-dried form. Example: In Dairy products, since it is already a rich source of calcium, it is fortified with Vitamin D to enhance calcium absorption and metabolism.

Mineral Premix: This include minerals as calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and others in dry-blended form. Example: Infant Milk formulas are fortified with iron as it results in augmentation of iron stores which help prevent later development of iron deficiency.

Amino acid Premix: Hypoallergenic or elemental formulations use a combination of amino-acids to replace protein in these formulations.

Nutraceuticals Premix: Customised Premix of nutraceuticals like inositol, taurine, choline and natural extracts as grapeseed extract etc. Used in health drinks and special nutrition products.

Customised Premix: Vitamins and mineral blend are chosen by customers and are designed based upon their product requirement.

Premix includes Fortificants (powdered vitamins and minerals), Excipients (carriers, fillers) and free-flow agent.

Other categories where premixes can be added are,

Staple foods Flour, Oil, Milk, Salt and Rice
Oils and fats Oil, Butter, Margarine, Ghee
Milk and Milk products Milk, Cheese, Cream, Milk Powder, Ice cream, Flavoured Milk and desserts
Bakery and Confectionery Bread, Biscuit, Breakfast cereals, Cakes, Chocolates
Nutritional supplements and Health drinks Infant formulae, Nutritional drinks, Dietary supplements and Sports Nutrition supplements


Developing an optimum premix

When vitamins, minerals, and functional ingredients are to be added to a food product. It begins with identifying and achieving desired specifications and allowed overages. They must be added in precisely accurate amount, in the proper chemical form, and at the right time in the production process in order to achieve accurate fortification creating a homogeneous blend. Because every food product and its production process is unique, there is no single formula to satisfy every need.

Premixes have been gaining prominence in the nutritional supplements and food products industry with proven benefits as reduced ingredient inventories and quality costs without introducing variables that would lead to compromising taste or texture in the end-product.


  1. National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau. Hyderabad: National Institute of Nutrition; 2002
nutrient deficiency

Younger women ‘not getting enough nutrients’

Increasing numbers of young women are becoming deficient in vital nutrients thanks to trendy diets popularised by social media, experts have warned.

Most of them now lack key minerals such as potassium, magnesium and copper, analysis of official health data shows.

But the picture is particularly bad for women, especially those in their 20s and 30s, who are also deficient in crucial nutrients such as iron, calcium and iodine.

Researchers blame fad ‘exclusion’ diets in which entire food groups are avoided.

Fuelled by social media, these diets have surged in popularity in recent years.

The most obvious example is vegetarianism – avoidance of meat and fish – but people are increasingly cutting out ingredients such as gluten, dairy, grains or sugar.

Many experts worry these crazes leave followers neurotic about food and confused about what to eat.

Bad food habit

The report, based on data from 3,238 adults who took part in Public Health England’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey, found the average woman is falling short on seven out of eight key minerals.

And the average man is falling short on five out of eight.

This can lead to fatigue, weakened immune systems, broken bones, muscle problems and infertility.

The research, which was commissioned by the industry-funded Health and Food Supplements Information Service, adds fuel to the row over dietary supplements.

The Government insists a balanced diet is enough to provide the nutrients we need and recommends only limited supplements – mainly for at-risk groups and pregnant women.

The NHS also says a balanced diet will generally suffice, but advises taking vitamin D in the winter and folic acid during pregnancy.

But the latest figures, published in the Frontiers in Nutrition journal, suggest we simply do not eat healthily enough – and the industry says supplements are vital for good health.

The findings show that women are getting only 68 per cent of the recommended intake for iron, 69 per cent for potassium, 66 per cent for selenium, 80 per cent for copper and magnesium, 89 per cent for iodine and 97 per cent for calcium.

Men are deficient in potassium, selenium, magnesium and copper but tend to get higher levels than women.

They do, however, get lower levels of zinc, which is crucial for male reproduction.

The researchers found men and women in their 40s and 50s had much healthier nutrient levels than those in their 20s.

Why those missing minerals are so important

MAGNESIUM Contributes to electrolyte balance, muscle function and cell health, functioning of the nervous system, and bone health. Found in cashews, green vegetables, milk and sunflower seeds.

POTASSIUM Also helps to keep the nervous system and muscles working as they should, and regulates blood pressure. Found in grains, legumes, meat and milk.

COPPER Helps us use the energy in food, transports iron in the body, contributes to hair and skin colour, and aids the immune system. Found in beans, liver and nuts.

SELENIUM Contributes to sperm formation and is important for thyroid function, immunity and protecting cells. Also helps keep hair and nails healthy. Found in seafood and Brazil nuts.

IODINE Essential for producing thyroid hormones, and for growth – especially of the brain and nervous system. It also contributes to immune system health. Found in milk and seafood.

IRON Helps form red blood cells. Aids cognitive function and stops us feeling fatigued. Found in red meat and eggs.

ZINC Essential for fertility and reproduction. Helps immune cells grow and keeps hair, skin and nails healthy. Found in fortified cereals, nuts, poultry and red meat.

CALCIUM Needed for healthy bones, helps muscle and nerve function, and is used in blood clotting. Found in dairy, canned fish and dark green vegetables.

Overall it is better to get our nutrients from a variety of foods within a balanced diet than from individual or multiple supplements


Rice Fortification

Is climate change making our food less nutritious?

Rice will become less nutritious as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise, potentially jeopardising the health of the billions of people who rely on the crop as their main source of food, new research suggests.
Scientists have found that exposing rice to the levels of carbon dioxide that are expected in the atmosphere before the end of the century results in the grain containing lower levels of protein, iron and zinc, as well as reduced levels of a number of B vitamins.

“About two billion people rely on rice as a primary food source and among those that are the poorest, often the consumption of rice in terms of their daily calories is over 50%,” said Dr Lewis Ziska, a co-author of the research from the United States department of agriculture. “Anything that impacts rice in terms of its nutritional quality is going to have an impact.”

While higher levels of carbon dioxide have previously been linked to lower levels of certain nutrients, such as proteins, in various crops, the study is the first time researchers have also looked at the impact on vitamins.

The rice was grown in paddy fields, with large octagonal ring-structures installed above the crops. These rings were either supplied with carbon dioxide, or not. The concentration of carbon dioxide the plants were exposed to was monitored at the centre of each ring, and the rice produced by each crop was collected and analysed.

The results reveal that crops that were exposed to higher levels of carbon dioxide were on average less nutritious, regardless of the country they were grown in, containing about 10% less protein, 8% less iron and 5% less zinc than rice grown under current levels of carbon dioxide. What’s more, levels of vitamins B1, B2, B5 and B9 also fell, with the latter dropping on average by more than 30%. By contrast, levels of vitamin E rose. Ziska said these differences might be linked to whether the various vitamins and nutrients contain nitrogen, with those that do typically seeing a drop in levels as carbon dioxide rises and those without seeing a rise.

But with some of the varieties of rice apparently showing little change in levels of certain nutrients, the researchers say it might be possible to find or develop types of rice that will remain nutritious as the climate changes.
A drop in the nutritiousness of rice as a result of climate change could have profound health effects, particularly for those who rely most heavily on the crop, with the authors warning that it could affect early childhood development and worsen the impact of diseases including malaria.

Ziska said it was crucial to do further research into why levels of carbon dioxide affect nutrient levels, suggesting that it may be because the crops grow faster.
He also stressed the need for research on other crops. “Many important cereals like wheat as well as staples like potatoes may be impacted by this as well,” he said.


Rice fortification

Rice Fortification | What are Fortified Rice?

Rice Fortification:

Fortification is the practice of deliberately increasing the content of an essential micronutrient, i.e. vitamins and minerals (including trace elements) in a food, so as to improve the nutritional quality of the food supply and provide a public health benefit with minimal risk to health.

Rice is the dominant staple food crop of approximately half of the population worldwide. Micronutrient deficiencies of public health significance are widespread in most countries consuming high levels of rice; thus rice fortification has the potential to help aid vulnerable populations that are currently not reached by wheat or maize flour fortification programmes. However, rice production is often done domestically or locally which could make mass fortification programs challenging.

Rice can be fortified by adding a micronutrient powder to the rice that adheres to the grains or spraying of the surface of ordinary rice grains in several layers with a vitamin and mineral mix to form a protective coating. Rice can also be extruded and shaped into partially precooked grain-like structures resembling rice grains, which can then blended with natural polished rice. A technical challenge is to produce fortified rice that resembles natural rice and resists normal meal preparation and cooking processes.

Why Rice Fortification?

Fortifying rice makes it more nutritious by adding vitamins and minerals in the post – harvest phase; many of which are lost during the milling and polishing process. Rice fortification may be considered as having the highest potential to fill the gap in current staple food fortification programs as it is the staple food of 65 percent of the Indian population and reaches the most vulnerable and poorer section – with the highest uptake in the government safety net programmes .The food and civil supplies department of each state empanels a number of rice millers in each district for regular supply of rice to the FCI, from which it is distributed to the social safety net schemes.

Source: FSSAI, WHO

salt fortification

Salt Fortification: Adding Iodine to Salt can increase your IQ

According to an estimate more than Two billion people worldwide are at risk for iodine deficiency, caused by low iodine content in soil and groundwater and dietary differences.Over 140 countries have implemented Universal Salt Iodisation (USI) across the globe so far according to WHO Policy. Dr.Wiktoria Tafesse and researchers at the University of Sussex analyzed the impact of a recent mandatory salt iodisation policy implementation in India on literacy and numeracy scores of children in rural India.The investigators found that Iodine fortification of salt increases children’s numeracy and literacy skills by up to 6% thereby strengthening the argument for Universal Salt Iodisation (USI). The study also found that there is a gender difference on the impact of iodine fortification, with improvements seen in girls’ overall reading score but no change of effect found for boys.The study has been presented at the Royal Economic Society annual conference in Brighton.

Medical research shows strong associations between iodine deficiency in utero and early postnatal life and permanently low IQ, and the research suggests that the positive effects of fortification carry into childhood and beyond.

The causal impact of salt iodisation was analysed by comparing the trajectories in the attainment of those children who experienced salt iodisation in early life to those who were too old to benefit from the new Indian iodisation policy, across districts with and without a geographical predisposition to iodine deficiency.

The data revealed that being exposed to the policy in early life improved the likelihood of recognizing simple letters and numbers by up to 6%.

As the children were tested in the home, the changes can’t be attributed to any changes in school policy or attendance and show that the results were not driven by coincidental improvements in health or access to school.

The UK has been identified as a country with mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency in pregnant women. Adequate iodine intake among pregnant women is critical for the brain development of the foetus and thus permanent cognitive attainment of the next generation.

Over 140 countries have implemented Universal Salt Iodisation (USI) across the globe so far, but the UK has not adopted legislation on salt iodisation despite USI being viewed as a simple and cost-effective way to increase iodine levels in the general population.


25 Years Celebration – SILVER JUBILEE YEAR

The Achievements of an Organization are the results of the combined efforts of every individual. Celebrating Pristine’s SILVER JUBILEE YEAR. Here’s to many more successful years ahead!

Silver Jubilee celebrationSilver Jubilee



We want to thank our loyal customers, partners & all the employees for helping us reach this milestone.

Enriched Flour

Its time for fortified wheat flour ( Enriched Flour) – LONDON

There are fresh calls for the government to fortify flour with folic acid in the UK to help protect babies from common birth defects after a new study found there is no need for an upper limit of folate intake.

Britain’s failure to legislate to make food producers fortify flour with folic acid to help prevent babies being born with birth defects is based on flawed analysis and should be reversed, scientists said on Wednesday.

The study, by Queen Mary University of London and the School of Advanced Study, University London, shows that the maximum suggested intake of folate (1mg/day) is based on ‘flawed’ analysis.

“There is clear evidence that fortification will prevent approximately half of all neural tube defects, such as anencephaly and spina bifida. There are around 1,000 diagnoses of neutral tube defects in utero in the UK, 85% of which result in an abortion. This accounts for around 1 in 200 abortions in the UK, many of which will be in the second trimester of pregnancy. In addition, a recent systematic review has demonstrated that periconceptual folic acid supplementation will reduce the risk of a baby being born small for gestational age, and therefore the theoretical risk of stillbirth.

“The RCOG has long supported fortification of flour with folic acid as a public health measure to prevent neural tube defects in babies. This simple measure will reach women most at risk in our society who have poor dietary and socioeconomic status, as well as those women who may not have planned their pregnancy. We continue to recommend that all women take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily whilst attempting to conceive, until their 12th week of pregnancy.

“If the UK government decided to add folic acid to flour it would prevent countless family tragedies. Governments in Scotland and Wales are already united in calling for this important change.”

Urging the UK to follow more than 80 other countries, including the United States, who have mandatory fortification, the scientists said there was no need for an upper limit on folate intake because there is no risk of harmful overdose.

Deficiency in folate, by contrast, can cause pregnant women to have babies with serious birth defects called anencephaly and spina bifida. Also known as neural tube defects, the conditions affect 1 in 500-1,000 pregnancies in Britain.


what is fortified milk

What is fortified milk ??


Fortification is the process by which manufacturers add micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals to food. The purpose is to reduce the rate of common deficiencies and diseases that would otherwise occur in the absence of these nutrients. This is especially important in regions where the soil — and thus the plants that grow in the soil — is nutrient poor. Though fortification is sometimes optional, the federal government mandates the inclusion of certain nutrients in cereal, salt and even milk because of concerns over public health.

Milk Fortification with Vitamin A and Vitamin D

Milk is a rich source of high quality protein, calcium and of fat-soluble vitamins A and D. Vitamins A and D are lost when milk fat is removed during processing. Many countries have a mandatory provision to add back the vitamins removed as it is easily doable. It is called replenishment as the nutrients lost during processing are added back.

Fortification of milk with Vitamin A and Vitamin D is required in India because of the widespread deficiencies present in the population. A Recent National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (NNMB) survey and a Report of the expert group of ICMR in 2012 has stated that India has very high burden of Vitamin A and D deficiencies, amongst both young children and adults particularly in urban areas are physically less active and have a very limited exposure to sunlight.

Since milk is consumed by all population groups, fortification of milk with certain micronutrients is a good strategy to address micronutrient malnutrition. India is the largest producer of milk in the world with 146.3 million tonnes of production and per capita availability of 322 grams per day . The dairy industry in India has progressed from a situation of scarcity to that of plenty.

Milk Fortification: Standards

Milk is one of the most nutritious foods. Vitamins A and D though important for various bodily functions and naturally present in milk are removed along with fat when the milk is processed to produce toned, double-toned and skimmed milk.

At the processing level, four types of fluid milk are commonly produced in India: Fortifying standardized (Fat – 4.5%), toned (Fat – 3%), double toned (Fat – 1.5%) and skimmed milk (Fat < 0.5%) with vitamin A and vitamin D will ensure that these will also reach consumers who purchase low-fat milk and provide them with significant amounts of their daily needs of these vitamins.

The technology to fortify milk is simple. All the vitamins and minerals that can be added to milk are available in dry powder form as well as in the liquid form. The fat-soluble vitamins are also available in an oily form as well as in the water soluble form. The fortification process does not require any sophisticated equipment.

Source: FSSAI


India loses 4% of GDP to malnutrition, say experts ahead of budget

A diverse set of processes link health care, education, sanitation, hygiene, access to resources and women empowerment

Nearly 4 percent of India’s GDP is estimated to have been lost due to malnutrition and certainly women and children deserve a better deal in expenditure outlay, since the country hosts 50 percent of undernourished children of the world and women and girl children fall last in the household food serving, said an ASSOCHAM-EY joint paper ahead of the union budget that will be presented on Thursday.

Quoting data from the National Family Health Survey-4, the ASSOCHAM-EY paper noted with concern that close to 60 percent of our children aged between 6 – 59 months are anaemic. It is only about 10 percent of the country’s total children who are receiving adequate diet.
The women and girl child, for whom the NDA government has launched flagship programmes, are no better in terms of their daily nutrition intake. About 55 percent of non-pregnant women and 58 percent of pregnant women aged between aged 15-49 years are anaemic.
“A large part of India continues to consume non-nutritious, non-balanced food either in the form of undernutrition, overnutrition or micronutrient deficiencies. It is important to understand that malnutrition derives not just from lack of food but from a diverse set of inter-linked processes linking health care, education, sanitation, hygiene, access to resources and women empowerment,” it said.
Assocham secretary general DS Rawat said, the government needs to pursue policies which “focus on removing health and social inequities. Programmes and policies that aim to address the nutrition burden present a double – win situation”.
Ernst and Young LLP Partner Amit Vatsyayan said: “While sub-optimal nutrition impacts the overall health and quality of life of people, it also adversely impacts the productivity of the country. It is estimated that that nearly 4 percent of the GDP is lost due to different forms of malnutrition.”
The adverse, irreversible and inter-generational impacts of malnutrition make optimal nutrition critical to the development of the country as a whole and all its citizens.
The paper said that in order to cater to the large unmet needs of micronutrients, it is imperative to focus on production diversity as well as food fortification at a macro level.
“For instance, millets are three to five times more nutritious than rice and wheat in terms of proteins, minerals and vitamins. They are cost effective crops as well; yet considered as poor people’s crop while rice and wheat are preferred over them. Millets are rich in Vitamin B, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc and are gluten-free. They are suitable for people with gluten allergies or those with high blood sugar levels”.

What Is Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Food? (RUTF)

RUTF is a tasty, energy-packed paste made from peanuts, oil, sugar, milk powder and vitamin and mineral supplements, it is the most effective tool for treating acute and severe acute malnutrition (SAM), which, every year, threatens millions of children worldwide.

RUTF is easy to ship and administer. It doesn’t require refrigeration and stays fresh for up to two years. Best of all, no mixing with potentially contaminated water is required. Each 100-gram single-serving packet comes ready-to-eat. All parents have to do is what comes naturally: Open the packet, feed their children and watch them grow healthy and strong.

UNICEF is the global leader in RUTF procurement, purchasing and distributing eighty percent of the world’s supply. UNICEF works with manufacturers to increase supplies of the product and keep prices down. One carton of RUTF contains 150 packets, enough for one six- to eight-week course of treatment to restore the health of a severely malnourished child.

Today, the global need for RUTF is greater than ever before as an unprecedented humanitarian emergency looms across 3 regions and 13 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The lives of 80 million people — more than half of them children — are threatened by alarming levels of food insecurity.

War, displacement, climate change and drought have created unprecedented food emergencies that affect children in the following countries:

  • Lake Chad Basin: Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria
  • Eastern Africa: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda
  • Middle East/Northern Africa: Djibouti and Yemen

The advantage of RUTF is that it is a ready-to-use paste which does not need to be mixed with water, thereby avoiding the risk of bacterial proliferation in case of accidental contamination. The product, which is based on peanut butter mixed with dried skimmed milk and vitamins and minerals, can be consumed directly by the child and provides sufficient nutrient intake for complete recovery. It can be stored for three to four months without refrigeration, even at tropical temperatures. Local production of RUTF paste is already under way in several countries including Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi and Niger.

Source: Unicef

Some of our interventions for the management of acute and severe acute malnutrition

RUTF Biscuit (Bar) – Poushtik Nutri Bar

RUTF Biscuit (Bar) a high-energy fortified food. This RUTF Bar follows the WHO/WFP/ UNSSCN/ UNICEF joint statement on Community-based Management of Severe Acute Malnutrition for children and adults.

F-75 and F-100 Therapeutic Milk Powder  

F-100 and F-75 are therapeutic milk products designed to treat Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM). They are used in therapeutic feeding centers where children are hospitalized for treatment.

Poushtik High Energy Biscuits (HEB)

Poushtik High Energy Biscuits are fortified with Vitamins & Minerals and are developed as an intervention for treating severe, acute malnutrition as per the World Food Program(WFP) guidelines.