KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — The Malaysian Cabinet has approved a proposal by the country’s health ministry to begin fortifying wheat flour with nutrients that protects the health of women and unborn infants.
In a social media post on April 26, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the measure makes it mandatory for Malaysian flour millers to add folic acid and iron in their 25-kilogram bags of wheat flour.
“The proposal will ensure that the level of iron and folic acid in wheat flour is in line with the proposal by the World Health Organization,” Jamaluddin said in a statement on Twitter.
Jamaluddin said the proposal calls for 6 milligrams of iron and 260 micrograms of folic acid to be added in every 100 grams of wheat flour.
Khairy said the move to fortify wheat flour with the two nutrients is aimed at preventing disabilities among unborn infants such as Neural Tube Defect (NTD) and anemia among child-bearing mothers.
Malaysia will be the 92nd country to have legislation that mandates fortification of at least one industrially milled cereal grain, according to the Flour Fortification Initiative (FFI) website. When FFI was founded in 2002, only 37 countries mandated fortification of wheat flour, maize flour, or rice.