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WHO and Nutrition International published a joint call for papers in December of 2021 to explore in depth this topic. As a follow-up, a technical meeting is now being co-convened to review and critically assess global programmatic evidence and implementation experiences to inform how to best use digital technologies for food fortification to improve nutrition outcomes. Lead authors (of review papers) and presenters have been invited (either in person or virtually) to present their work and experiences. WHO and Nutrition International plan to publish a technical supplement with the commissioned papers and meeting proceedings.

While there is little literature available detailing how digital technologies can be leveraged across food-system nutrition interventions to improve nutritional outcomes, it is evident that its integration is increasing worldwide as it can improve effectiveness and efficiency across the entire fortification supply chain.

Specific objectives

  • Review previous and ongoing use of digital technologies focusing on food-system interventions for food fortification and identify potential areas for future integration of digital technologies in these interventions for improved nutrition outcomes.
  • Ascertain the purpose of and lessons from using digital technologies in other systems/sectors – including health, agriculture, social protection, etc. – and determine how these lessons may be applied to food-system interventions for food fortification for improved nutrition outcomes.
  • Identify and document the synergies and disconnects along the food value chain between food system interventions focusing on food for improved nutrition outcomes.
  • Use of big data and new technological innovations to support decision-making and sustainability of food-system interventions for food fortification to improve nutrition outcomes.
  • Ascertain an ethics-driven approach to food-system nutrition interventions for food fortification, incorporating key legislation, principles, and practices, to support appropriate data and information collection, use, management, governance, and security.
  • Review evidence on the ability of digital technologies to influence consumers’ understanding and perspectives on the quality of foods, their nutritional value, and health impacts, and suggest ways to shape consumers’ food behaviors to lead to improved nutrition outcomes.

Key findings and lessons from the scientific reviews and program experience, and critical discussions from the technical meeting will be included in the technical report and published in a special supplement.

This collaboration will help us to identify lessons, gaps and action points related to the use of digital technologies for food fortification, outline the future of digital technologies in the realm of food fortification and improve global policy and programming in this area.