Maize is the most widely consumed staple food by the Kenyan population. Its wide consumption and centralized processing make it an appropriate fortification vehicle to supply essential micronutrients to the population. The legislation was enacted in 2012 that makes it mandatory for all commercial maize mills in Kenya to fortify the maize flour with specified micronutrients as a public health effort to reduce the prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies. However, there is limited information on the current status of maize milling and implementation of the flour fortification programme by these mills. A cross-sectional study was therefore carried out to characterize the commercial maize mills and determine the status of flour fortification in Kenya. Questionnaires were used to collect data. Information was obtained from 22 large-scale, 25 medium-scale and 31 small-scale mills. These mills had an installed capacity of 6084 metric tons/day of flour using roller and hammer mills. While all the large-scale mills implemented the recommended statutory flour fortification programs, only 45.8% of the medium and 24.1% of small-scale mills did so. There was evidence of weak quality management systems for fortified maize flour and most companies did not have trained mill operators. Regulatory monitoring was mainly done by the Kenya Bureau of Standards and the Ministry of Health. There is a need to enhance industry capacity in food fortification practices and fortification compliance.
Key words: Fortification, maize flour, maize mills, mill characteristics.
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