The monitoring included collection and testing of salt samples using the WYD machine to identify the iodine level of salt produced by the iodization plant and to ensure that the salts sold in the market are iodized and meet the required iodine level.
Diane Joaquin of the National Nutrition Council (NNC-CAR) shared that for iodized salt to be adequate for household consumption, iodine content must not be less than 15 parts per million (PPM).
The lowest iodine content checked by the group was at the Baguio City market with 10.1 and 9.1 ppm from suppliers Jimenez and Velasquez respectively.
Joaquin recommended said these suppliers to at least provide higher iodine PPM content, preferably 30-70 ppm or more, at their level so that when it is stored and delivered to the stores, iodine still remains in salt.
She said iodine in salt easily diminishes especially due to poor handling and storage. Proper storage and handling of iodized salt are needed to maintain its adequacy, Joaquin added.
The team also visited the Benguet Salt Iodization Plant located at Windy Hill in Buyagan, La Trinidad. Samples with highest iodine content were packed on Nov. 19 with 73.8 ppm, Nov. 18 with 44.1ppm and on Nov. 4, 2019 with 26.4 ppm.
Results of the monitoring will to be forwarded to the Food and Drug Administration and the city government of Baguio for their information and appropriate action.
Republic Act 8172 or An Act Promoting Salt Iodization Nationwide and related purposes or the ASIN Law aims to contribute to the elimination of micronutrient malnutrition in the country, particularly iodine deficiency disorders, through the cost-effective preventive measure of salt iodization.
The RBATF monitoring team included representatives from the NNC, Department of Health, National Nutrition Council, Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources, City Health Services Office and Philippine Information Agency. (JDP/MAWC – PIA CAR)
By Maria Aprila W. Cruz