PILI, Camarines Sur (PNA) – The National Food Authority (NFA) here has assured the public that the Iron Fortified Rice or I-Rice is safe for human consumption as it moved towards a more intensified promotion of the staple to combat the prevalence of micronutrient deficiency among schoolchildren.
NFA provincial manager Eliseo Caliwag on Tuesday said I-Rice is a mixture of white milled rice and iron rice premix processed thru fortification which is a result of careful and extensive studies made by various government agencies following the setback due to some unclear reasons experienced by its promotion a few years back.
The Department of Health (DOH), Foods and Drugs Administration (FDA), Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), Food and Development Center (FDC) of the NFA and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) were involved in the studies.
The NFA has re-launched I-Rice last week as part of the nationwide revival of the promotion of its use as an effective and sustainable means to fight micronutrient deficiency particularly among school children, Caliwag said.
Some of the nutritional benefits of I-Rice include anemia prevention and prevents child birth defects and mortality during pregnancy. It also boosts healthy red blood cells, enhances body system against infection, improves mental and physical development, helps maintain alertness and endurance and improves productivity, he explained.
Through iron fortification, the process I-Rice had undergone, calories and natural proteins lost by the rice during its milling process are replaced. The process is in compliance with the Philippine Food Fortification Act of 2000 otherwise known as Republic Act 8976.
Caliwag said that their agency is giving its all out support for the government’s fortification program citing among others its important role in promoting the health condition of the children in the province.
Stakeholders coming from various government institutions and private organizations in the province have also sealed their commitment in the I-Rice promotion activities, he added. (PNA)