PFA starts collecting open market sampling to verify micronutrients/ food fortification
LAHORE: Punjab Food Authority has started collecting open market sampling in order to verify the micronutrients (essential trace elements and vitamins) into food articles through laboratory test after the business adjustment time period completed here on Thursday.
Food safety teams has collected the white flour (maida), flour and ghee samples for laboratory test from open market in the presence of company’s representatives by following blind-sampling method throughout the province.
Director General Noor ul Amin Mengal said that teams have collected food articles samples from open market for examining products quality and fortification. PFA is doing efficiently work on food fortification program under the umbrella of PFA scientific panel by taking concerned department and stakeholders on board. While several meeting have been made with concerned food industries and stakeholders in this regard. Punjab Food Authority is fully active for implementing food fortification program in order to deal the food issues and reduces the deficiency of nutrients, DG said.
Mengal told business adjustment time was given to them in the meeting held in May, adding that PFA bound food industry/ manufacturers to add the essential trace elements and vitamins in flour, white flour and ghee during food fortification/ enrichment process. He said that all industry had ensured to them for following the PFA’s directions before completing the deadline.
According to PFA mandated that all enriched flour was to be fortified with folic acid and zinc along with presence of vitamins in Ghee and potassium iodide and iodine in Salt.
All samples will sent to ISOs and Pakistan Certified Councils certified laboratories for laboratory test. Authority will not only remove the products from market but also take strict action as per law in case of failed to meet the food standards, fortification and proved adulteration in laboratory test report.
A large number of children in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan are suffering from diseases due to lack of nutrients. According to the recent Nutrition Survey report, 50 percent children are victims of nutritional shortage and 60 percent children are suffering from anaemia (deficiency of blood) in Pakistan. The nutritional status of children is very serious in Pakistan, he said.