eCatalogue of indicators for micronutrient programmes

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Regulation for iodized salt includes definitions of national standards
Assesses whether under the law on mandatory iodization of food-grade salt, the relevant government authority has published a standard that specifies the type of iodine fortificant and the fortification level of iodine in salt. This is usually a derivation of the Codex Alimentarius standard for food-grade iodized salt. The standard defines the type of fortificant (potassium iodate (KIO3) or potassium iodide (KI)) permitted for salt iodization.
The desirable level for salt iodization may vary depending on local salt intake patterns and projected losses during storage and transport; thus it is important that the regulation specify the national standards. These serve as the foundation for the internal and external quality assurance monitoring plans. Ideally, for quality assurance regulations should outline specific activities for internal and external monitoring of the iodine in salt at the production or iodization sites, and encourage the use of the titration method, or an equivalent method, in order to provide precise measurements of the iodine content in salt. Regulations about iodine levels in salt should clearly specify whether they refer to total content of iodine alone or to content of iodine compound (KIO3 or KI) for quality salt iodization. WHO recommends that the level be expressed as content of iodine (1, 2).
Documentation that iodization of food-grade salt is enacted in a regulation in which a national standard for iodized salt defining the type of iodine fortificant and the fortification level of iodine in salt has been defined: Yes/No. Considerations for the estimation: The national standard may be defined in the law which mandates salt iodization and not in a regulation; however, it is often preferable to include the standard for iodized salt under a regulation so as to allow for easier changes in the standard if needed.
Food law,regulation,directive,legislation,policy,government decision,food safety bureau,food standard,iodized salt regulation,food-grade salt,salt standard, salt iodine concentration,potassium iodate,potassium iodide,iodine fortificant,salt fortification standard
Food fortification
Early childhood development, Emergency setting or displaced population, Lactation, Pregnancy
The appropriate type of enactment may be country specific. In most countries, it is enacted (gazetted) in a regulation. It may be important to check whether salt iodization is included in a food safety or security regulation governing the food supply. In reviewing the laws and regulations, the national standards defined in the regulation might vary for permissive (dependent on voluntary action in the industry and trade) and mandatory (compulsory) salt iodization. The majority of countries specify potassium iodate as the fortificant of choice in the regulation. Several countries with effective salt iodization programmes use potassium iodide.
The enactment of a mandatory regulation including the definition of the national standard is important for providing guidance to industry affected by the legislation and promotes quality salt iodization. This indicator is simple to assess if the relevant government authority has published the standard.
This indicator does not assess the implementation of a mandatory regulation. For example, a regulation does not guarantee effective salt iodization if it is not implemented by salt producers and importers and enforced by the national food control agency.
In a country, iodization of food-grade salt is enacted in a food safety and standards regulation. It defines ‘iodized salt’ as crystalline salt, white or pale, pink or light grey in colour, free from contamination with clay, grit and other extraneous adulterants and impurities. It shall conform to the following standards, namely: a) Moisture- Not more than 6.0 per cent by weight of the undried sample; b) Sodium Chloride- Not less than 96.0 per cent by weight on dry basis; c) Matter insoluble in water- Not more than 1.0 per cent by weight on dry basis; d) Matter soluble in water- Other than Sodium Chloride, not more than 3.0 per cent by weight on dry basis; e) Iodine (as potassium iodate) content at: (i) Manufacture level: not less than 30 parts per million on dry weight basis; (ii) Distribution channel including retail level: not less than 15 parts per million on dry weight basis. For this indicator (regulation for iodized salt includes definitions of national standards), the response was “Yes”.
1. WHO/UNICEF/ICCIDD. Assessment of iodine deficiency disorders and monitoring their elimination. A guide for programme managers, third edition. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2007 (, accessed 28 January 2015). 2. Guideline: Fortification of food-grade salt with iodine for the prevention and control of iodine deficiency disorders. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2014 (, accessed 28 January 2015).
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