Health experts recommend using iodized salt for food consumption
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Health experts recommend using iodized salt for the prevention of iodine deficiency disorders (IDD).
And Cebu is one of the 15 provinces in the Philippines with high prevalence of IDD among pregnant and lactating women (PLW).
Dr. Teofilo San Luis, national director of Iodine Global Network (IGN), said during the launch of Thyromobile on Monday, September, that IDD could be prevented by using “adequately iodized salt.”
Iodine deficiency disorder preventable
“This is something that can easily be prevented (IDD) using a very efficient, very cost-effective method of distributing iodine to the general population through the use of adequately iodized salt,” San Luis said.
Moreover, Parolita Mission, regional nutrition program coordinator of National Nutrition Council in Central Visayas, said the salt iodization program was part of the food fortification program of the Department of Health (DOH).
She said iodizing the salt was the fastest strategy to have an additional intake of iodine since it was one of the most used condiments in the households.
How to check if the salt is iodized?
According to Mission, the (DOH) has promoted the “SISA” seal or the “saktong iodine sa asin.”
She said this was what they would instruct mothers who were going to buy salt in the markets to choose salt brands with the SISA seal.
The nutrition program coordinator said that along with the seal, it also has a mark or a logo of the DOH, and the Food and Drug Administration, the regulatory body of the health agency.
Regional Bantay Asin Task Force
“Sa regional level, naa man sad tay Regional Bantay Asin Task Force. Every quarter nagkuha ta’g salt samples sa mga establishments mismo para naa tay basis [kanus-a] kinahanglan i-pull out ang mga asin kay kulang na siya sa iodine content,” she said.
(In the regional level, we have the Regional Bantay Asin Task Force. Every quarter we take salt samples in the establishments so that we can have [basis] when we will pull out the sale because it lacks iodine content.)
She said that they would also conduct inspections on salt producers to check if they would still conform to the required parts per million (ppm) of the iodization level of salt.
If the iodization level decreased, they would ask the producer to re-iodize the salt to ensure that the products would have a sufficient amount of iodine when it reaches the markets.
San Luis said the standard iodization level of salt should be at least 30 to 70 ppm.
However, when it reaches the factories or to the markets, the level decreases to 15 to 45 ppm.
Preserving the iodine content
She said that the public should know that when they would store the salt in the hotter area in the kitchen, it would decrease the amount of iodine.
Meanwhile, Mission added that the salt must be stored in a cool dry place to preserve the iodine content.
She also said that all kinds of salt for human consumption must be iodized based on the ASIN Law or the Act for Salt Iodization Nationwide.
In the salt iodization process, potassium iodate or other suitable fortificant as recommended by DOH will be added to the salt, according to the law.
Moreover, the producers or manufacturers of food-grade salt should iodize the salt they produce, manufacture, import, trade, or distribute.
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