Poor health, impairment of early childhood immunity and cognitive development and even death can be associated with vitamin and mineral deficiencies (VMD), particularly prevalent in individuals living in developing nations and/or refugee camp situations. Solving the problem of VMD is complex and clinical symptoms are not readily detected. Global alliances and food aid partnerships have successfully coordinated and delivered VM supplements to target populations, but it is now understood that entire populations require better nutrition.The research objective is to identify the feasibility, challenges and opportunities of pulses grown, processed, and fortified with Fe/Zn in western Canada as a vehicle for improving the nutritional value of lentil dal, a staple food traditionally consumed in households suffering from VMD.
Methodology is based on a modified version of Kepner’s & Tregoe’s (1965) decision-making typology. It incorporates the problem perspective, target population, and boundary conditions for implementing a fortification program.
Results are based on experiential knowledge elucidated from twelve key stakeholders in the form of Likert scale responses and emergent themes from open-ended, interview question responses.
The study concludes convergence towards a high degree of feasibility of Fe/Zn lentil dal fortification. As this is a new food vehicle for VM fortification, stakeholders identified evidence gaps needing to be addressed during pilot project and scale-up phases.Transformation of the western Canadian commodity based pulse production system to an ideology of pulses as vehicle to address hunger and VMD through Fe/Zn fortification, will require quality assured and traceable seed processing systems, coordination of stakeholders, and political will.