Point-of-use micronutrient fortification of school meals improves nutritional status

June 2010

The June 2010 issue of The Journal of Nutrition revealed results from a trial in India that tested the nutritional impact of school meals fortified onsite with a micronutrient premix. Investigators randomly assigned schools to receive either premix containing approximately 75 percent of the recommended daily allowance of iron, vitamin A, zinc, folic acid, and vitamin B-12, or a placebo premix. School cooks used the premix six days per week for eight months to prepare daily meals for children ages 6 to 10 years old, using scoops calibrated to measure for ten or two children. After adjusting for age, sex, and C-reactive protein (a measure of infection), children who received the fortified meals had higher total body iron and serum retinol, folate, and vitamin B-12 concentrations, and lower prevalence of low serum retinol, serum folate, and serum vitamin B-12. The authors concluded that point-of-use fortification of school meals using existing infrastructure is a cost-effective, locally acceptable, and sustainable way to implement micronutrient fortification programs.

Community-Level Micronutrient Fortification of School Lunch Meals Improved Vitamin A, Folate, and Iron Status of Schoolchildren in Himalayan Villages of India