1. Iron-deficiency anaemia continues to be a major public health problem in all developing countries. Fortification of commonly consumed food items has been suggested as an effective method of preventing anaemia. Common salt (sodium chloride) has been identified as a suitable vehicle to be fortified with Fe in India.
2. Common salt was fortified with ferric orthophosphate (3500 mg/kg) and sodium hydrogen sulphate (5000 mg/kg) to provide an additional 1 mg elemental Fe/g common salt consumed.
3. After ascertaining the acceptability of the fortified salt with respect to its colour, taste and bioavailability a pilot feeding trial was conducted among residential schoolchildren in Hyderabad. Feeding of the fortified salt for a period of 1 year resulted in a significant increase in the haemoglobin level of these children. There was also a significant reduction in the prevalence of anaemia among children given the fortified salt.
4. Before the same fortified salt is recommended as a public health measure to prevent Fe-deficiency anaemia among our population it is necessary that further large-scale community trials with this fortified salt are carried out particularly among the rural population.