Biofortification

  • Majority of the world’s population is suffering from the deficiency of proteins, vitamins and essential minerals.
  • Goiter due to iodine deficiency, blindness due to vitamin A deficiency and anemia due to iron and folate deficiency remain major health problems in India.
  • Through several food supplements are available to compensate the nutritional deficiencies, but new approaches are needed, especially to reach the poor.
  • There is a need for multiple complementary strategies to address micronutrients deficiencies.

What is biofortification?

  • Biofortification is the method for developing crops with higher level of vitamins, minerals, proteins and healthier fats to improve public health.
  • It is the idea of breeding crops to increase their nutritional value.
  • This can be done either through conventional breeding or through genetic engineering.
  • The objectives of biofortification is to improve
    • Protein content and quality
    • Oil content and quality
    • Vitamin content
    • Micronutrients content
    • Mineral content
  • Examples of biofortified crops: -
    • Maize with high beta carotene traits has been shown to be an efficacious as supplements of this orange coloured maize were released in Zambia in 2012.
    • Rice biofortified with zinc was released to farmers in Bangladesh in 2013.
    • The biofortified rice varieties have zinc content, i.e.- 30 % higher than local varieties.
  • Some examples of crop varieties with improved nutrient contents are:
    • Maize hybrids with increased amount of amino acids, lysin and tryptophan.
    • Atlas 66 is a wheat variety having a high protein content which has been used as donor for improving cultivated wheat.
    • Iron fortified rice with five times increased iron content than commonly consumed varieties.
  • Several vegetable crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals released by Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi are:
    • Vitamin – A enriched carrots, spinach and pumpkin.
    • Vitamin – C enriched bitter gourd, mustard, tomato and Chenopodium.
    • Iron and calcium enriched spinach and Chenopodium.
    • Protein enriched beans – broad, lablab, French and garden peas.

3 Comments

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Lipun sahu

Thank u mam to help us

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Lipun sahu

Thanks mam

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Biju mahakur

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