eCatalogue of indicators for micronutrient programmes

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Tested premix samples meet specifications for fortification according to country standards
This indicator assesses whether premix samples, obtained from national premix producers or mills, meet the required levels for all nutrients tested.
Premix is a mixture of vitamins and minerals formulated to fortify maize or wheat flour. Testing nutrient levels in premix is typically part of regulatory monitoring activities. The premix composition influences the effectiveness and safety of the intervention. The nutrient profile of imported premix is verified by customs officials’ review of a Certificate of Conformity or comparable document. For domestically produced premix, and for premix collected at mills as part of regulatory monitoring, testing nutrient levels in premix samples is a means of verifying that the premix used in the country’s fortification programme meets the specifications in fortification standards or regulations.
The percentage of premix samples that meet fortification specifications for all the required vitamins and minerals Numerator: number of premix samples that meet the fortification specifications for all nutrients tested, within a given time period (e.g. 3 months) Denominator: total number of samples tested within the same time period • Divide the numerator by the denominator. Multiply the result by 100 to convert the number into a percentage. Considerations for the calculations: • If measuring two or more nutrients, they all must meet the levels stipulated in standards or regulations, for the sample to be included in the numerator.
Certificate of Analysis, Certificate of Conformity, fortified, premix, production, regulatory monitoring, standard, verification, vitamins and minerals
Food fortification
School age children, 12-23 months, 24-35 months, 36-47 months, 48-59 months, 6-11 months, Adolescents, Men, Other (not any of the above, post-menopausal women, elderly), Women of reproductive age
Copper, Folate, Iron, Niacin, Selenium, Vitamin A, Thiamine (vitamin B1), Vitamin B12, Riboflavin (vitamin B2), Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Zinc
If multiple nutrients are tested and some nutrients meet the regulations and others do not, there may be multiple potential causes to consider; for example, inadequate collection of the sample, improper testing of the sample at the laboratory, or inappropriate storage of the premix. It is also useful to confirm that the nutrient analysis matches the reported contents on the label of the premix.
This indicator is an objective measure of the premix contents.
The availability of quality premix is no guarantee that it is being added or added correctly to maize or wheat flour during the milling process. This indicator requires collection of premix samples and payment for laboratory tests to confirm the content, which requires human and financial resources.
In a country, there are seven companies that produce vitamin and mineral premix and supply it to maize-flour mills. Three times per year, inspectors from the regulatory authority visit each company and, among other activities, take a sample of premix for laboratory analysis. The samples are sent to an internationally accredited laboratory for analysis of all nutrients that should be included in the premix, according to national regulations: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, vitamin B12, iron and zinc. One year, 12 samples met the national specifications for all nutrients; 6 samples met the national specifications for six of the nutrients; and 3 samples met the national specifications for three of the nutrients. Numerator: 12 Denominator: 21 Calculation: 12/21 * 100 = 57% of premix samples met the national specifications for fortification of maize flour.
Allen L, de Benoist B, Dary O, Hurrell R, editors. Guidelines on food fortification with micronutrients. Geneva: World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; 2006 (, accessed 30 October 2015).
© World Health Organization 2019