Fortified Bakery…Immune Friendly Or Not…????

Fortified Bakery…Immune Friendly Or Not…????

While DAK has started issuing statements. I recently have come across one of the posts by DAK contending the claims of “immunity booster” bakery is not scientific and lacks validity. Let us examine the claim from scientific point of view, Since I myself being a food technologist will try to throw light on few things based on the research findings by Food Researchers across the globe.
The whole world woke up to the need of having a good immunity, which may not have crossed our minds earlier, but in the wake of Coronavirus scare, it did. A good immunity helps stay us in good shape, which may prove beneficial in preventing and managing various infections, flu’s and diseases. The seasonal produce with many foods that may play a significant role in building or strengthening our immune system. Enhancing the body’s natural defence system (immunity) plays an important role in maintaining optimum health. We all know that prevention is better than cure. While there is no medicine for COVID-19 as of now, it will be good to take preventive measures which boost our immunity in these times. Ministry of AYUSH recommends the following self-care guidelines for preventive health measures and boosting immunity with special reference to respiratory health. Spices like Haldi (Turmeric), Jeera (Cumin), Dhaniya (Coriander) and Lahsun (Garlic) are recommended in cooking. Also Herbs like Tulsi (Basil), Dalchini (Cinnamon), Kalimirch (Black pepper), Shunthi (Dry Ginger) and Munakka (Raisin) are recommended.
Studies have shown that deficiency of high-quality protein can result in depletion of immune cells, inability of the body to make antibodies, and other immune-related problems. If the baker claims such as “good source” or “excellent source” of protein depending upon the percent daily value listed on the Nutrition information as per FSSAI regulations. For claiming a “good source” product need to provide 10% of the daily value, and those with an “excellent source” claim need to deliver 20%. Only certain kinds of protein contribute to that number. Abaked bread product may have an impressive amount of total quality protein. It can be determined by its protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS), which compares the concentration of amino acids against the standard amino acid profile. “The score is based on the amino acid requirements of humans and their ability to digest it,”

Vitamin Deficiency and Impact on Immunity
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) promotes the production and release of antibodies from B-cells, and deficiency of vitamin B5 results in reduced levels of circulating antibodies.
Folic Acid deficiency leads to a decrease in T-cells and supports production of red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body.
Vitamin B6 deficiency consistently impairs T-cell functioning and results in a decrease in blood lymphocyte counts.
Vitamins B1 (thiamin) and B2 (riboflavin) are important in normal antibody response.
Vitamin B12 appears to inhibit phagocytic cells and possibly T-cell function.

Minerals and Impact on Immunity
Zinc for a Healthy Immune System:- Deficiency can result in profound suppression of T-cell function. Rich sources are (Sesame seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Garbanzo beans, Lentils, Cashews, Nuts, and Almonds)
Also Copper deficiency is associated with an increase in infections and may impair development of immune cells such as T-cells and the phagocytic cells. (Rich sources are Sesame seeds, Cashews, Nuts)

Herbs and Impact on Immunity
Cinnamon: Anti-inflammatory–stimulates the production of digestive enzymes. Cinnamaldehyde an active compound reduces inflammation, in addition cinnamon contains salicylate (found in aspirin) which reduces pain and promotes heart health by helping to prevent blood clots.
Turmeric contains a bioactive compound known as curcumin, which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, it can also be consumed as a decoction (kadha) made from grated ginger, tulsi and turmeric once daily to improve immunity as recommended by AYUSH.
Fenugreek is a well-known herb in the Ayurvedic system of medicine which acts a natural anti-oxidant and strengthens immune system. It is not only used as an herb (dried or fresh leaves), spice (seeds), vegetable (fresh leaves) but also as a condiment in artificial flavoring of maple syrup or in the production of steroids. You can add fenugreek seeds as preservatives in pickles as they are rich in vitamin E. Dried leaves of fenugreek are used for flavoring vegetable dishes, fish and meat. Herbal tea made with fenugreek, honey and lemon is a traditional remedy to treat fever.
Research indicates that many of these herbs not only have anti-inflammatory properties, they also help build up the body’s natural immunity.

Other Recommendations for boosting immunity:
Consume adequate protein and healthy fats.
Maintain a healthy balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Studies indicate a ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats of 1:4 is health-promoting.
Provide micronutrients and phytonutrients that support healthy immune function.
Decrease intake of allergens and toxins.
Maintain healthy weight and cholesterol levels.
Maintain your diet on nutrient-dense foods, is one way to decrease calorie consumption while consuming optimal levels of micronutrients and immune-supporting phytonutrients.

Regulations for Fortification of foods:
Food Fortification is a scientifically proven, cost-effective, scalable and sustainable global intervention that addresses the issue of micronutrient deficiencies. In October 2016, FSSAI operationalized the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2016 for fortifying staples namely Wheat Flour and Rice (with Iron, Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid), Milk and Edible Oil (with Vitamins A and D) and Double Fortified Salt (with Iodine and Iron) to reduce the high burden of micronutrient malnutrition in India. The ‘+F’ logo has been notified to identify fortified foods. Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2018 were notified in the Gazette of India on 09.08.2018.
It is pertinent to mention here that if DAK are issuing the statements about baker Hilo Makhbaz who has recently taken help from his daughter who ought to be a Food Technologist, she might have started trials before claiming or fortifying biscuits/bakery products with all those compounds which are supposed to help in immune boosting. Then what is wrong in claiming that. Definitely the concerned Department of Food Safety (FSSAI) might have been taken on board first before launching any product and making any claim. If anybody claims to have done innovations new with food products, it is mandatory for FBO to get his samples tested which will comply with permissible limits under regulations in order to ensure health benefits and if it fails to comply he is liable for penalty under FSSA (Act) 2006. Which reads as “Misleading advertisement related to food items are imputed with malafide intent on the part of person making the claim and is normally made to misguide a consumer to purchase food item without disclosing the complete details on the advertisement. Companies (Corporate bodies including firm or other association, individual) are also covered under Sec 66, FSS Act, 2006)”. Also The provisions are enshrined under Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling), Regulation, 2011 includes definition of Health Claims, Nutritional Claims and Claims for Risk Reduction. As per section 23, Packaging and Labelling of Foods of FSS Act, 2006.
Now the question arises here, Either Food Safety Department in Kashmir (FSSAI) are lagging somewhere behind for which they should come up with a statement in this issue, Because the statement issued by Medicos can prove disastrous and demoralize Aspiring Food Technologists of the valley including me first. We must encourage each other for doing such innovations from the aspiring young innovative food technologists. Doctors are doing their part well for which they are consistently being encouraged and praised. It surely does not mean that they will speak about those things which are really not their domain. The Baker and her daughter deserve praises for at least taking an initiative of new concept for fortifying bakery products. Researchers are there to see the effects of Fortified bakery on Immune system and studies must be carried on the same model.

Note:- The views are personal based on scientific research study. Author is Aspiring Food Technologist form Srinagar.

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