KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 — The Cabinet has agreed to implement mandatory fortification of iron and folic acid into wheat flour in packs of 25 kilogrammes (kg) and below, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said.

Fortification is the process of adding certain nutrients to food ingredients to improve the nutritional quality of food.

Khairy said the move was to ensure that the levels of iron and folic acid in wheat flour were uniform and in line with the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of 6.0 milligrammes of iron and 260 microgrammes of folic acid in every 100 grammes of wheat flour.

“At the moment, iron and folic acid are not added into 25kg packs of wheat flour. Both are only added to the one kg packs of wheat flour voluntarily with varying levels and lower than the recommended level,” he said in a statement here today.


He added that the move was part of public health interventions in a bid to improve iron and folic acid intake among the community.

Elaborating, Khairy said iron and folic acid deficiency can cause permanent disability problems in infants such as Neural Tube Defects (NTD) and Anaemia.

“The move is expected to improve the quality of nutrients in products produced by the small and medium food industry, such as bread, wet noodles, roti canai and cakes.


“It will also open up better access to nutritious food in the market for Malaysians. We hope the move can improve the nutritional intake and health status of Malaysians,” he said.

In this regard, Khairy said the Health Ministry will hold further discussions with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the implementation would not burden consumers in terms of prices.

At the same time, he said the ministry will be amending the Food Regulations 1985 for the implementation of the fortification process. — Bernama