Biotech Updates

Studies Reveal Impact of Quality Protein Maize in the Growth of Ethiopian Children

December 3, 2010

Maize is considered as the cheapest and most common cereal crop in eastern and southern Africa. However, the crop has low nutritional value because it does not contain two essential amino acids, lysine and tryptophan, which are necessary for efficient protein synthesis. Thus, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) produced the Quality Protein Maize (QPM) which contains the necessary amount of lysine and tryptophan. Girma Akalu of the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute, together with other scientists from the International Nutrition Foundation and CIMMYT-Kenya, assessed the impact of QPM in two districts of Ethiopia and published the results of the study in Food and Nutrition Bulletin.

A study conducted in Wama Banoya District from August 2002 to 2003 revealed that children who ate QPM had 15% increase in weight compared to those children who ate conventional maize. In another study conducted at Sibu Sire District from October 2005 to 2006, children who consumed QPM exhibited 15% increase in height than those who consumed conventional maize.

This study reveals that QPM could be one of the solutions to children malnutrition in Africa.

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