Manufacturers of soy and fish sauces should fortify the products with iron in order to improve Cambodians’ health, government officials said yesterday.
During a workshop on iron fortification, Sat Samy, secretary of state at the Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts, called on producers to help combat iron deficiency afflicting many Cambodians.
“Without nutrition, food is just delicious,” Mr. Samy said. “For example, if they lack iron, pregnant women will be pale and children will have weak mental capacities,” he said.
According to the Ministry of Planning, 47 of the country’s 100 fish and soy sauce manufacturers have already begun fortifying their products with iron, with the financial support of two international NGOs.
Chan Borin, director general of the Institute of Standards of Cambodia, said yesterday that the government should make it mandatory for sauce producers to add iron to their products.
“Poor people, particularly in rural areas…where people [cannot] afford iron-rich foods like vegetables and meat, eat their meals with just soy or fish sauces that currently doesn’t contain the iron necessary for them, and especially for their children,” he said.