Combat Iron Deficiency in Mauritius: STC’s Enriched Flour Initiative

combat iron deficiency

This project concerns white flour and whole wheat flour.

In an effort to combat iron deficiency, particularly among women, the State Trading Corporation (STC) is teaming up with Les Moulins de la Concorde to introduce enriched white flour and whole wheat flour starting in October.

Nutritional Concerns and the Path to Improved Health

Many people in Mauritius have a balanced diet. However, like the rest of the world, the way we eat has been changing, with more people consuming unbalanced and poor-quality diets full of high-energy, nutrient-poor foods. This is what the Mauritius Nutrition Survey 2022 found. It also revealed a high percentage of anemia in the population, especially among women, with the highest prevalence seen in women aged 20 to 49 (38.3%) and girls aged 12 to 19 (37%).

To address this issue, the Ministry of Health has decided to take action. The State Trading Corporation (STC), with the support of Les Moulins de la Concorde, will provide flour enriched with iron, zinc, folic acid, as well as vitamins B9 and B12. “The contract goes into effect in October, so the enriched flours will gradually become available next month,” said a source close to the matter. This initiative covers both white flour and whole wheat flour and aims to combat iron deficiency  improve the health of consumers.

The nutrition survey in Mauritius also noted various forms of malnutrition, such as underweight, overweight, obesity, and imbalances in micronutrients. This has resulted in anemia, low levels of serum ferritin, vitamin B12, folate, and vitamin D in certain subgroups of the population who participated in the study. This reflects “hidden hunger,” which refers to a state of malnutrition where a person doesn’t get enough essential nutrients, even if they don’t appear thin or hungry in the traditional sense.

In its findings, the Mauritius Nutrition Survey 2022 emphasized the need to bridge the gap between nutritional knowledge, dietary behavior, and practices through effective policies and intervention programs aimed at encouraging the consumption of high-quality, nutritious diets by the Mauritian population.

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