Quadruple Fortified Salt: An efficient and scaleable vehicle for simultaneous delivery of iron, folic acid, vitamin B 12 and iodine in low resource settings

University of Toronto
Organization Location: 
Toronoto, Ontario, Canada

Iron, folic acid and B12 deficiency contributes to maternal,infant and neonatal deaths annually. Folic acid deficiency also leads to serious birth defects and neonatal development problems. Salt is universally consumed at a constant, predictable level independently of social status. Our approach is to develop innovative technology for incorporating these micronutrients into salt at levels that can have a significant beneficial health effect. Our objective is to develop a stable premix in the laboratory, test its long-term stability in salt, and scale up the process for premix production in pilot scale tests in India. In two years quadruple fortified salt (QFS) will be ready for full scale testing and commercial introduction. The technology will require central processing of a premix, to be added to iodized salt at a 1:150 ratio, but will require minimal changes in existing salt plants. QFS has the potential to impact 1.6 billion people who are severely affected by these multiple micronutrient deficiencies that lead to large-scale maternal neonatal and infant mortality. Based on the success of salt fortification with iron and iodine in Indian school children, we can expect a 35% reduction in anemia and a consequent decrease in mortality, with the addition of folic acid and vitamin B12 at a cost of ~ 10 US¢ per person per annum. 

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