Century’s Food Fortification Initiatives
By Ma. Cheryl Singson
Nutrition and Regulatory Affairs Department Manager
Eat a variety of foods everyday is the first of the 10 Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos. The first recommendation aims to encourage eating healthy and helping people obtain the necessary nutrients from a variety of dietary sources. Consuming a range of foods, though, is frequently difficult for several reasons, one of which being food accessibility. Nutritional issues, especially micronutrient deficits, have been caused by a lack of variety in food.
Filipinos are at-risk for micronutrient deficiencies. According to FNRI, infants, children, pregnant and lactating women, as well as the elderly, are the most vulnerable population groups to micronutrient deficiencies. The most deficient nutrients in our diet are vitamin A and iron. FNRI data in 2018 reflected that 20.4% of children under 5 years old are vitamin A deficient, while 20.8% of our elderly people are deficient in iron.
Thankfully, the Philippine Fortification Act R.A. 8976, a policy on the mandatory fortification of staple foods and voluntary fortification of processed foods or food products, was passed to curb the rising rate of micronutrient deficiencies. The Philippine Food Fortification program is applicable to all imported and locally processed food products which are sold or distributed in the country.
The Governing Board of the National Nutrition Council (NNC) recommends that certain staple foods be fortified, such as: (1) Rice with Iron; (2) Wheat flour with vitamins A and Iron; (3) Refined sugar with vitamin A; (4) Cooking oil with vitamin A; and (5) Other.
Century Pacific Food Inc. responds to this government’s call for the fortification of processed foods to help address micronutrient shortages. We do this by offering a variety of products with additional nutrients. To name a few are:
Argentina Corned Beef is fortified with iron and zinc to help boost immunity.
Birch Tree Milk for Milk Drink is fortified with B Vitamins, Vitamin C, Zinc, and Iron for energy metabolism and immunity.
Choco Hero – high source of B vitamins for healthy metabolism, with iron for cognitive function, with Vitamin C for normal collagen production, and calcium and Vitamin D for healthy bones
Unfortunately, the pandemic had even made nutritional issues worse. For the environment to recover from the pandemic and grow more adaptable to future shocks, nutrition is a crucial component of the COVID-19 response. The government must make sure that those who are most at risk have enough access to nourishing food to meet their basic needs. Due to the disruption of the food systems, consumers are turning to less healthy, more shelf-stable, and less expensive meals. Fortification of important staple foods offers a significant opportunity to provide entire populations with vital micronutrients that boost immunity and promote health.
As we strive to become a Philippine leader in affordable nutrition, we pledge to support government initiatives in reducing all forms of malnutrition. We continue to be a part of the solution through offering inexpensive, nutritional, and excellent products. For the convenience and health of our clients, we make sure that our products are widely accessible and fortified.