Biofortified staple food crops as a need of new era

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Research Paper 01/09/2019
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Biofortified staple food crops as a need of new era

Shakra Jamil, Ayesha Naseem, Shamsa Kanwal, Sajid Ur Rahman, Rahil Shahzad, Muhammad Zaffar Iqbal
Int. J. Biosci.15( 3), 206-218, September 2019.
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More than one billion people of the world have no direct access to the nutrient enriched food. So, biofortification is an upcoming feasible, cost effective and sustainable way of providing the essential nutrients to the poor people of the developing world by fortifying the staple food crops. In this review, different approaches of biofortification are discussed just to improve the already growing crops with the essential nutrients like iron, zinc, and vitamin A. These improved crops help to combat the micronutrient deficiencies that cause severe health issues like cognitive impairment, growth failure, and weak eye sight, weakened immune system and reduced productivity in humans. Biofortification approaches like transgenic, agronomic and breeding are being used to improve the nutrients in staple crops like Vitamin A in rice, Zinc in wheat, Iron in wheat and maize. Now more than 20 billion people of the developing world are using biofortified crops and improved their health status. Success stories of biofortification include the biofortification of wheat with lysine using transgenic approach, provitamin improved rice and tryptophan enriched maize. Emphasis is being lead on transgenic approach and its acceptability and adoptability among the farmers for biofortification of food crops. Besides all the challenges, biofortification still has bright future and the potential to feed the world with essential micronutrient enriched food.


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