With the possible exception of salt iodization, there are limited data on how compliant food fortification programs are globally. Of the data we do have, less than half (45%) of samples are adequately fortified. This poses a threat to the nutritional impact of any program. The objective is to better understand why limited data and poor compliance exist and how they can be improved.
Following from the September 2015 #FutureFortified Summit, a working group on regulatory monitoring was formed with the goal of elucidating key barriers and proposing pragmatic solutions that can be scaled to improve fortification compliance. Identified barriers and potential solutions were obtained from peer-reviewed and gray literature, authorsâ experiences, and anecdotal experience from program implementers.
Three areas were identified as requiring urgent attention: 1) Simplifying the process of quality data collection for inspectors, 2) Identifying motivating factors for government to ensure compliance, and 3) Identifying and putting in place enablers for industry. Country-specific success stories are used to propose pragmatic solutions and recommendations are provided for scaling and disseminating.
Challenges faced by regulatory inspectors have been documented and are similar across country programs. Building fortification monitoring into already-existing food systems, standardizing simplified approaches, and understanding how to create an environment that motivates government and industry will be critical if we are to see improvements in compliance. We must move away from what is ideal to what is realistic if we want to see sustained improvements in data collection that translate into positive nutritional impact from fortification programs.