Action - Nutrition International - Indonesia - Salt iodization - All population groups

Programme: Nutrition International - Indonesia

Programme description

We consume iodine in our foods. When plants and animals are raised in areas with iodine-deficient soil, the diet for those people will be less healthy, resulting in populations suffering from iodine deficiency disorders (IDD).[1] Iodine deficiency is a leading cause of mental impairment and therefore Iodine offers protection to the growing brain.[2]

In many middle to high income countries, the problem of iodine deficiency has largely been solved by adding iodine to salt, which then makes it into animal feed, breads, processed foods and salt shakers in homes around the world. Salt iodization is considered the most successful type of food fortification.[2] That said, in 2017, 1 billion people globally did not have access to iodized salt.[3]

Supporting governments' efforts to achieve universal salt iodization (USI) is Nutrition International’s main strategy to help eliminate IDD. This means that all edible salt, for households, processed foods and animal salt, is adequately iodized based on how much the general population consumes. Nutrition International (NI) works in collaboration with the government of Indonesia and partners to improve the legislative, policy and regulatory environments for salt iodization.  NI works with the salt industry to build its capacity to comply with regulations.  NI seeks to foster greater government ownership and commitment for USI programs to ensure long-term sustainability. 

The areas of NI support for Salt Iodization include:

1. Building the capacity of the government quality control authorities in effective monitoring, quality control and enforcement:

  • Helping the government in developing iodization standards harmonized with global best practices and drafting legislation and regulation for enforcement.
  • Strengthening and/or establishing quality control laboratories.
  • Facilitating the establishment of technical working groups.

2. Strengthening the capacity of small and medium-scale salt producers in the:

  • Improvement of the iodization process, technology and internal quality control.
  • Establishment of a market driven KIO3 procurement and supply system coupled with a viable cost recovery system through revolving fund mechanisms. 
  • Improvement in the industrial processes and technology including the up-gradation of salt plants.

3. Contributing to the global evidence base and to the development of global standards and guidelines

4. Advocacy and Behaviour Change Interventions in low performing districts, facilitated by volunteers from village-level women's welfare organizations, to promote use of adequately iodized salt.

These activities are being implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Health (Directorate of Community Nutrition), Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Industry and Food and Drug AdministrationProvincial Planning Departments, Provincial Industry and Trade Offices, District Planning Departments, District Industry and Trade Offices, Salt Processors and UNICEF. This program is being implemented sub-nationally in Central Java, East Java and West Nusa Tenggara (Bima and Lombok districts). NI began work with salt fortification in Indonesia in the late 2000s and work is ongoing.

Programme type



  1. Zimmermann, M. B. (2011). Iodine deficiency disorders. Oxford Medicine Online. doi:10.1093/med/9780199235292.003.3109
  2. WHO.Guideline: fortification of food-grade salt with iodine for the prevention and control of iodine deficiency disorders. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2014. 
  3. UNICEF. (n.d.). UNICEF Data: Monitoring the Situation of Children and Women. Retrieved from

For more information:

Target group: 
All population groups

Revision log

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 16:23zillmerkpublishedpublished
Tue, 10/23/2018 - 15:33GINAadminNIpublishedneeds_review
Mon, 10/22/2018 - 18:12zillmerkpublishedpublished
Mon, 10/22/2018 - 17:19GINAadminNIAction edited by GINAadminNI.needs_review
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