ATLANTA, GEORGIA, U.S. — Mozambique recently published legislation to fortify five food vehicles as part of its multi-sector plan to reduce chronic undernutrition. The mandate calls for fortification of wheat flour, corn meal, cooking oil, sugar, and salt, the Food Fortification Initiative said.

The law gives industries six months to meet the new requirements. When fully implemented, wheat flour and corn meal will be fortified with iron, zinc, folic acid, and vitamin B12. Fortifying flour with vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6 is optional. Cooking oil and sugar will be fortified with vitamin A. Salt will be fortified with iodine.

Mozambique has 13 industrial roller maize mills with a capacity of at least 60 tonnes a day, 13 medium hammermills with average daily production of 20 tonnes a day, and 10 industrial wheat mills. Small-scale mills which provide services for family consumption or do not package their products for the market are exempt from the fortification legislation.

During a workshop earlier in June, Mozambique leaders learned to use FORTIMAS (Fortification Monitoring and Surveillance) as a monitoring tool.

FORTIMAS analyzes trends over time using existing data to determine if fortification is being implemented as expected. It can also identify whether health trends are improving as expected. 

The Mozambique legislation is a significant milestone after years of collaborative efforts by fortification advocates. A multi-sector National Committee for Food Fortification was established in March 2012. National leaders have included people from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture as well as the Ministry of Health. International partners have included the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Helen Keller International (HKI), Irish Aid, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Food Program, and Population Services International.

Representatives from Mozambique have attended multiple training events led by Smarter Futures, a public-private-civic partnership working to improve health in Africa through fortification of wheat and maize flour. Smarter Futures partners include HKI, the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, the Food Fortification Initiative, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, and AzkoNobel. The Smarter Futures partnership also developed FORTIMAS then provided the French translation.

With Mozambique, 86 countries have legislation to fortify at least one industrially milled cereal grain.