Review on analysing food vehicles for iron fortification and selecting a best for Sri Lankan target people
Micronutrients require in minute quantities but play a vital role in normal human growth, development and physiological functioning. The deficiencies of them, essentially vitamins and minerals, mainly cause several illnesses, especially in children and women worldwide. Of those, iron is a mineral that is necessary for producing red blood cells in order to cure the disease anaemia. Iron deficiency is considered to be the commonest worldwide nutritional deficiency and affects approximately 20 % of the world population. One of the strategies that could be initiated in order to control iron deficiency anaemia is fortification of food with iron, so as to improve the nutritional quality of the food supply with minimal risk to health. This paper reviews the iron fortified food products available, bioavailability of iron type on them, cons and pros by iron fortification on each available food products, suitability analysis of fortified food products to all the people and finally suggesting a best food vehicle for iron fortification in Sri Lanka. As a result, although there are several food vehicles suitable for other countries, it can be concluded that rice is the staple food and highly consuming by all the target and non-target people in Sri Lanka. So, it has been decided as the best food vehicle for iron fortification. Even though rice was considered as best food fortificant vehicle, it is recommended to analyse the uniformity of iron distribution in fortified rice sample after cooking in order to assure uniform iron intake for the target people while reducing possible bad effects due to high doses.