CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–The Regional Bantay Asin Task Force (RBATF)-10 inspected two major salt distributors in the region to check whether they have complied with the addition of iodine to salt as required in the Act for Salt Iodization Nationwide (ASIN LAW), or the Republic Act 8172.
The two salt distributors inspected were Arvin International Marketing Incorporated and Artemis Salt Corporation located in Cagayan de Oro.
The addition of iodine to salt is intended for animal and human consumption, which helps to eliminate micronutrient malnutrition in the country.
Arlie Damiles, nutrition officer of National Nutrition Council (NNC)-10, shared per Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) requirement, a manufacturer, reseller and distributor should have at least 30-70 parts per million iodine content in salt. Meanwhile, households should have at least 15 parts per million.
“Importante kaayo nga ang gina-consume nato is iodized salt. Kana siya makatabang labi na ma-prevent nato ang Iodine Deficiency Disorder. Dako kaayo ang ikatabang sa iodine sa growth and development sa usa ka bata,” she said.
(It is so important that what we consume is iodized salt. This is helpful especially to prevent Iodine Deficiency Disorder. Iodine can help greatly in the growth and development of a child)
As to storage, Iodine in salt is volatile since it evaporates if not stored properly, thus, Damiles said this is why iodized salt should not be exposed directly under sunlight.
It should also be far from hot surfaces or areas such as burners or where there is heat, she said.
Further, iodized salt should be placed in a non-transparent container, preferably dark color to avoid evaporation. Meanwhile, when cooking, Damiles said to add salt in the end part when food is ready to be served.
Noel Bautista, account sales executive of Artemis Salt Corporation, said they are importing their salt from Australia and they are compliant with the Asin Law, which requires the addition of iodine to salt.
“As we know we have our Asin Law, which Artemis is a part and participatory of the Regional Bantay Asin Task Force. We want to implement and really distribute the good quality of our product White Diamond which has a high percentage of iodine,” he said.
Further, the City Health Office is also making sure proper handling of food or salt is observed and that all workers are healthy.
“One of the illnesses nga gina-prevent nato is ilang mga personnel working nga wala sila gidaladala nga sakit nga TB [tuberculosis]. Usa gyud sa among basic requirements, sa any food establishment because asin is considered as food,” said Noel Bautista, health sanitary inspector of Cagayan de Oro City.
(One of the illnesses that we are preventing is to ensure their personnel are not carrying TB [tuberculosis]. One of our basic requirements in any food establishment because salt is considered food.)
The RBATF is an organization headed by NNC that acts as watchdog or first line of defense to make sure all salt produced and distributed in the markets is iodized salt. The monitoring is done every semester to ensure that only iodized salt reaches every household. (JMOR/PIA-10)