Foodness Asia Pte. Ltd. is giving away fortified rice at the Eldex Asia 2019 conference for the eldercare industry to highlight the issue of hidden hunger in Singapore’s elderly. According to the World Health Organization, hidden hunger is a deficiency in essential micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. Fortification is the process of replacing the vitamins and minerals that are lost during food processing or not part of a healthy diet.
A National University of Singapore study showed the elderly are particularly susceptible to undernutrition and that research on this problem is lacking in Singapore. Elderly undernutrition often goes undetected. Common conditions caused by micronutrient deficiency include cognitive decline, reduced immunity, cardiovascular diseases and general frailty.
Foodness Asia is a Singapore social enterprise that began operations this year. It aims to support nutrition for everyone through food fortification and efforts to raise public awareness.
“Many developed countries have mandated fortification of food staples like flour and milk, with scientifically proven benefits for the general population”, according to John Lui, Foodness Asia Founder and General Manager. “In Asia our staple is rice and we should fortify it”.
New process techniques make it possible to fortify rice without affecting cooking or taste at a very small marginal cost. “Even for otherwise healthy people, better nutrition improves well-being and vitality”, Lui says. “There is really no reason not to do it”. Foodness Asia is raising awareness of the need for better nutrition first in Singapore but plans to expand throughout the region. They have a website with more information at www.FoodnessAsia.com.