Twenty-ONe quality inspectors from various industries and government bodies are being trained to monitor fortified foods.
The training, which was organised by the Rwanda Bureau of Standards and the Ministry of Health, attracted participants from the standards bureau, SOSOMA Industries, AZAM Bakhereza, SOCACI, Kinazi Cassava Plant, Kabuye Sugar Works, MINICOM and World Food Programme.
Mark Cyubahiro Bagabe, the Rwanda Bureau of Standards director general, said the training aimed at making sure that Rwanda has inspectors, who can adequately monitor and enforce food fortification based on Rwanda set fortification standards.
The two-day training will provide basic information on food fortification technology for oil, sugar and flour. It will also cover techniques for external monitoring at production and market levels.
Bagabe said food fortification is an important tool used to deliver essential micro-nutrients to the population to improve the nutritional value of foods and, hence, prevent micro-nutrients deficiency.
He urged the participants to be keen on the training and get enough information to help them in monitoring of the food fortification processes and implementation of the standards.
“Visits to producers, who fortify their products will allow participants to get firsthand experience,” Bagabe noted.
Bagabe said three years ago, Rwanda lacked industries that provide fortified foods until recently when firms like AZAM, SOCACI and MINIMEX, opened shop.
“This not only helps Rwanda reduce on the cost of importing fortified foods, but also enables Rwandans access cheap and quality food,” he said.
“Fortification is mainly targeting products that are consumed by the ordinary people, including sugar, maize flour, wheat flour, cassava flour and cooking oil, which have important vitamins and minerals that boost the brain development in children,” Bagabe explained.
Rwanda Bureau of Standards inspectors will be responsible for external monitoring of production sites, imports and testing of samples to determine compliance, while the ministry of health hygiene inspectors will monitor fortification levels on the market, he added.