- 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
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
- 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
- Rice biofortified with zinc was released to farmers in Bangladesh in
- 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
- 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
- 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.