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Oil Fortification: Introduction

Multiple micronutrient deficiencies are rampant in India, and continue to be significant public health problems, which adversely impact the health and productivity of all the population groups. More than 57% of children suffer from vitamin A deficiency, which may be symptomatic or present at the sub-clinical level. In addition, a high proportion of pregnant women and their new-borns suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is also considered to play an important role in decreasing the risk of many chronic illnesses, including common cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Thus public health problems warrant public health intervention. As per Household Consumer Expenditure (HCE) Survey in India, NSSO report 2011, consumption of oil is reasonably high, about 20-30g / person / day and is consumed by all population groups. Since vitamin A and D are fat-soluble vitamins, fortification of edible oils and fats with vitamin A and D is a good strategy to address micronutrient malnutrition and fortified oil is known to provide 25%-30% of the recommended dietary allowances for vitamins A&D.