To study available forms of vitamin A premix for sugar fortification in order to determine the best vitamin A premix that promotes homogeneity for fortified sugar in Malawi.
Three forms of vitamin A premix (premix A, B and C) were used. Premix A and B require dilution prior to addition to the sugar while premix C is added directly to sugar. Samples of sugar fortified with the three premixes were tested for vitamin A content using spectrophotometric methods and the data used to calculate the coefficient of variation and recovery.
Premix C, the one added directly to sugar, showed superior performance with a lower coefficient of variation of below 25% compared to 41-71% registered when using premix A and B. The variation affected recovery results registering 87-120% for premix C and 86-250% for the A and B. The standard requires addition of vitamin A at 15mg retinol per kilogram sugar and the final vitamin A content in fortified sugar was 13-18mg/kg using premix C compared to 15-43mg/kg for when using premixes A and B.
Various forms of vitamin A premix for sugar provide different homogeneity results. It is therefore important for a national program to establish the extent of variation at the beginning of the program and, to regularly ensure minimal variation during production for consistent provision of adequately fortified sugar to the population.