Biofortification Suman Panda 27-01-2021 6 Comments 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.