96%

OF TESTED EDIBLE OIL FROM COMMERCIAL OIL MILLS IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE NATIONAL FORTIFICATION STANDARD

136

PARTNERSHIPS ESTABLISHED WITH ALL OIL PRODUCTION UNITS IN PAKISTAN

35

iCHECK DEVICES DISTRIBUTED TO PUBLIC SECTOR LABS AND THE LABS AT OIL MILLS

Countries

Pakistan

How We Help

Fortification, Influence

Micronutrients

Vitamin A

The opportunity

Malnutrition costs Pakistan $7.6 billion every year.

According to a Scaling Up Nutrition Movement study, malnutrition costs Pakistan US$7.6 billion, or 3 percent of GDP, every year. Malnutrition rates in the country have been alarmingly high for decades. According to the National Nutrition Survey (NNS) 2018, 51.5% children under five are vitamin A-deficient and 62.7% are vitamin D-deficient. The NNS also found that 27.3% women of reproductive age are vitamin A-deficient while nearly 80% are vitamin-D deficient.

Vitamin A deficiency is a leading cause of preventable blindness and results in increased risk and severity of infectious diseases and morbidity possibly by weakening the immune system. Vitamin D deficiency causes rickets leading to soft bones and skeletal deformities and is the single greatest cause of osteoporosis. Those with specific dietary needs are particularly vulnerable, including people with underlying health conditions, young children, and pregnant women – where both mother and baby face increased risk of disability or death.

Vegetable oil is widely consumed in Pakistan, making it an ideal vehicle for fortification. Yet, since 1965 when the government made fortification mandatory, compliance has been weak and the sale of unfortified or inadequately fortified oil has continued.

Our solution

Improving quality assurance and quality control (QAQC) processes to ensure all edible oil in the market is adequately fortified.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A

This project will increase the integration of digital technologies into QAQC mechanisms, building the capacity of industry, governments, and regulators to ensure that all edible oil is adequately fortified.

Through this project we will:

  • Support the establishment of a sustainable mechanism for quality-assured premix. We will equip the federal regulatory bodies with protocols to introduce and implement a quality control mechanism for premix. This will ensure that all premix entering the country complies to the technical specification and helps industry meet national oil fortification standards.
  • Support a review and revision of the vitamin D levels in the standards for edible oil fortification to improve public health outcomes.
  • Conduct a trial of iCheck Connect to support digitization of the QAQC system leading to real-time data collection and improving the national quality control system.
  • Provide both formal and on-the-job training to Food Authority staff on how to properly monitor and collect samples on fortified oil at both production and market levels, and for laboratory staff to test and determine whether samples meet fortification standards.

Working closely with oil producers, we will ensure that training materials are available and provide formal and on-the-job training to millers on oil fortification and quality assurance practices, enabling them to produce adequately fortified oils in compliance with national standards. Our field staff will also provide continuous on-site support to build capacity and institutionalize fortification in mills’ production processes.

We have worked closely with the Government of Pakistan since 2001 to improve availability and access to critical micronutrients and this project will augment our efforts in sustaining and digitizing oil fortification in the country.

 

The impact

More women and children protected from vitamin deficiencies.

This project will improve production, availability, and quality of adequately fortified cooking oil, helping to ensure that women and children in Pakistan consume vitamins A and D, resulting in strengthened immune systems and protection from preventable blindness, rickets, osteoporosis.

96%

OF TESTED EDIBLE OIL FROM COMMERCIAL OIL MILLS IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE NATIONAL FORTIFICATION STANDARD

136

PARTNERSHIPS ESTABLISHED WITH ALL OIL PRODUCTION UNITS IN PAKISTAN

35

iCHECK DEVICES DISTRIBUTED TO PUBLIC SECTOR LABS AND THE LABS AT OIL MILLS