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Crop Biotech Update

Biofortification of Crops Vital in Achieving Food Security

April 28, 2021

Dr. Kauser A. Malik and Dr. Asma Maqbool from the School of Life Sciences at Forman Christian College University Lahore conducted a detailed study on the importance and need for the biofortification of transgenic crops.

According to the authors, the world, especially developing countries, is in dire need of the incorporation of modern technology to produce biofortified crops. Around 2 billion people globally experience another type of hunger, known as hidden hunger, which is caused by poor intake of essential micronutrients in the everyday diet. Dr. Malik says that Global food security concerns impact greatly the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals, which are heavily focused on eradicating hunger by 2030. There are so many health problems linked with the micronutrient deficiencies such as zinc, iodine, iron, vitamin A, B, and C in the human body, and in recent years we see an alarming increase in malnourishment. They have also discussed the factors affecting micronutrient availability such as the effect of diet-related factors in plant foods that affect bioavailability and soil and plant factors affecting micronutrient availability. Strategies for fortification were discussed in detail as well.

Biofortification shows great potential for improving the nutritive content of major crops and by the use of recombinant DNA technology, the bioavailability of several essential micronutrients and vitamins could be increased to fight hunger and malnutrition especially in developing countries.

For more information, read the review article in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems.

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