Through a notification dated 29 January, 2021 the FSSAI has issued directions regarding the allowance of encapsulated ferrous sulphate as one of the sources of nutrients for double fortified salt under the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011.
In the notification the FSSAI has drawn attention to clause (5) of sub-regulation 2.9.30 of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 relating to standards for Iron Fortified Iodised Salt (double fortified salt) wherein ferrous sulphate is allowed in non-encapsulated form and ferrous fumarate is allowed in encapsulated form with the requirement of 99% and 98% sodium chloride content on dry weight basis respectively. The regulations states that: Salt used for manufacture of double fortified salt shall have minimum 99.0 percent sodium chloride content on dry weight basis
[when ferrous sulphate is used for fortification; minimum 98 per cent sodium chloride content on dry weight basis when ferrous fumarate in encapsulated form is used for fortification]
However, with innovative processing techniques, ‘encapsulated Ferrous Sulphate’ is also available for uses as source of iron and hence ‘encapsulated ferrous sulphate can be allowed in double fortified salt as a source of iron.
In view of the above the FSSAI has decided that the salt used for the manufacture of Iron Fortified Iodised Salt (double fortified salt) shall have
- minimum 99.0 percent sodium chloride content on dry basis when source of nutrients in non-encapsulated form is used for fortification,
- minimum 98 percent sodium chloride content on dry basis when the source of nutrients in encapsulated form is used for fortification.
About Encapsulated ferrous sulphate and ferrous fumarate
The main reason for encapsulation is to separate the iron from the other food components so sensory changes are reduced. In double fortified salt (i.e., salt fortified with iodine and iron), encapsulation of iron has been shown to help prevent iodine losses and to slow down colour changes. However, encapsulated forms of fortificants must be selected also on the basis of bioavailability. Bioavailability may be reduced depending on the methods of manufacture, materials used and thickness of the capsule. Testing on rats has shown that that encapsulation of ferrous sulphate and ferrous fumarate does not alter iron. In addition, dual fortification of salt with encapsulated iron has been found to be. There are several iron compounds that are available in encapsulated form and are currently being used mainly in industrialized countries as they are costlier than the non-encapsulated forms of iron.
Source : FSSAI