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.
Vitamin D deficiency in India
Source: ILSI India, 2014
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.
The potential of fortified milk to reach masses is tremendous as per capita production is projected to increase to more than 350 ml/day by 2020. Considering that the organised sector processing accounts for around 20 percent of the total milk production, there is potential to produce 29.3 million litres of fortified milk per annum. Thus, milk is an excellent vehicle to ensure that Vitamin A and Vitamin D reach a large section of the population.
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