Our Story

Across Asia, obesity, malnutrition and chronic diseases are some of the biggest health challenges of the 21st century. To facilitate a multi-stakeholder platform to initiate a dialogue on an integrated approach to solving these challenges, the Asia Roundtable on Food Innovation for Improved Nutrition, or ARoFIIN, was inaugurated on 30 January 2015 in Singapore.

With an initial focus on Southeast Asia, senior delegates from government, academia, industry and the rest of society exchange views on the current landscape as it relates to the social, economic and health opportunities for food and nutrition-based R&D, as well as consumer behavioural changes in the food and nutrition arena.

Highlights

What can rice scientists offer to a sugary world?

The global rise in modern lifestyle diseases calls for urgent attention to diet-based nutritional interventions across the entire socioeconomic consumer spectrum, says Nese Sreenivasulu, Head of Grain Quality and Nutrition Centre, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). The solution, he said, can be found in diversifying into more food products with greater health benefits.

Fortifying Meals for Social Good

45RICE is a social enterprise dedicated to improving lives through nutrition. With the motto “fortifying every meal”, 45RICE brings essential vitamins and minerals to a bowl of rice, turning empty carbs into healthy carbs.

Rice fortification as a contribution to combat malnutrition

Although the world has made advancements toward the elimination of hunger, malnutrition rates have only improved marginally and continue to result in stunting and wasting, particularly in key Asian economies. Improving of access to nutritious food intake can start at the food production stage, through food fortification.

What's New

Partnership at the Heart of Addressing Nutrition and Health Challenges in Asia

With at least 2.8 billion people worldwide affected by the dual burden of obesity and undernutrition, the Asia Roundtable on Food Innovation for Improved Nutrition (ARoFIIN) is determined to come up with a home-grown solution to tackle the problem across Asia.

South-East Asia is Getting Fatter, Faster

An inception report on “The Current Landscape and State of Health in Relation to Obesity in South-East Asia”, by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), has found that the obesity rate in the ASEAN Six is increasing faster than that of countries like the USA, UK and Japan.

Driving Better Nutrition in Asia Through Public-Private Partnership

With the double burden of obesity and undernutrition emerging as a threat to health and healthcare systems in the Asian region, a unique public-private partnership is looking at ways to initiate and sustain stakeholder dialogue on food innovation and improved nutrition to deal with these issues.

Programmes

Taskforce One: Knowledge Platform

Taskforce One: Knowledge Platform

  • To establish a clear governance structure for ARoFIIN
  • To build an evidence-based knowledge hub and facilitate the nutrition dialogue

Taskforce Two: Consumer

Taskforce Two: Consumer

  • Enhance nutrition literacy, nutrition communications and understand consumer behaviour
  • Fill knowledge gaps on Asian diets and consumer preferences

Taskforce Three: Regulation

Taskforce Three: Regulation

  • Identify barriers and enablers for innovation and solutions for public health policies
  • Cultivate a conducive ecosystem that stimulates R&D in food and nutrition

Taskforce Four: Double Burden

Taskforce Four: Double Burden

  • Optimise nutrient accessibility, food innovation and reformulation to tackle malnutrition
  • Explore and identify sustainable funding mechanisms for nutrition and health interventions in Asia