To estimate VA content from unpooled or pooled vegetable oil samples and classify the availability of fortified oil in a supervision area.
The supervision area (SA) was Negros Occidental, Philippines (87 markets). Upper and lower threshold was 90% and 70%, respectively. The decision rule was that 19 of 24 markets (randomly selected) should meet the criteria that 9 of 10 samples or the single pooled sample within the market should be fortified. Fortified oil was defined as oil with 9.6 – 27.6 (mg RE/kg) measured using iCheck Chroma (Bioanalyt Gmbh). Branded and unbranded oil were separately tested unpooled (n=240) and pooled (N=24).
Branded oil exceeded the limit of detection (> 30 mg RE/kg) for unpooled and pooled samples. The SA did not meet the criteria for fortified oil. Branded oil exceeds the maximum tolerable level. Unbranded oil had undetectable (81%) or inadequate (10%) Vitamin A levels. No market met the lower threshold of 70% for unbranded oil. Pooled testing reduced the number of tests conducted by 90% and achieved similar LQAS conclusions in this setting where the variability in quality per type of oil was small. LQAS was able to identify two problems with the quality of fortification in this SA, namely over-fortified branded oil and unfortified unbranded oil.
LQAS using pooled testing can classify availability of fortified oil in a supervision area just as well as unpooled testing. Branded oil in the supervision area was over-fortified and unbranded oil was not fortified.