why biofortification is essential to the modern agricultural technology

why biofortification is essential to the modern agricultural technology


1 Answers

Ashutosh Mohan Sharma
askIITians Faculty 180 Points
5 years ago
More than half of the human population worldwide has no access to healthy food. In developing countries, peoples are mainly reliant on a staple diet of cereals, such as rice or maize, due to lack in common fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish. Unfortunately all of our major food crops lack certain essential vitamins and minerals; as milled cereal grains are poor sources of lysine, vitamin A, folic acid, iron, zinc and selenium, which are essential for normal growth and metabolism. Malnutrition is a significant public health issue in most of the developing world like Africa and Asian countries. One of the ways to address this problem is through the enhancement of staple crops to increase their essential nutrient content. A potentially cost-effective and sustainable way to increase a crop’s nutritional value is known as bio fortification. This technique is relatively new, which use plant breeding and genetic engineering techniques to enhance the nutrient content of staple foods. The major aim of the bio fortification is to increase the nutrient content of the food. To increase the nutritional value requires some form of metabolic engineering with the aim of increasing the amount of this desirable compound, decreasing the amount of a competitive compound or even extending an existing metabolic pathway to generate a novel product. Here, we review the current developments in bio fortification for the improvement of major agricultural crops.

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