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Iron Biofortification

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Abstract: Malnutrition in human system due to micronutrients are in alarming rate since time immemorial. Among the major micronutrient deficiency iron has prominent part. About 80 of the pregnant women, 52 of the non-pregnant women, and 74 of the children in the 6-35 months age group in India suffer from iron deficiency-induced anaemia. The Fe deficiency causes varying degrees of impairment in cognitive performance, lowered work capacity, lowered immunity to infections, and pregnancy complications (e.g., babies with low birth weight and poor learning capacity). Iron deficiency-induced severe anaemia is a direct cause of maternal and child mortality.Adverse health effects of the deficiencies of these micronutrients leads to huge economic losses. A recent study showed that actions to solve iron and zinc deficiencies in China would cost less than 0.3 of the GDP, but failure to do so could result in a loss of 2-3 of the GDP.Although approach of supplementation, industrial approach of food fortification, and agricultural approaches of dietary diversification and biofortification have been advocated as some of the strategies to address micronutrient deficiencies. Crop biofortification, which refers to the breeding of cultivars with higher levels of micronutrients, is increasingly being recognized as a cost-effective and sustainable approach. Fe biofortified crops have been released with higher ppm compared to normal varieties on wheat, sorghum, lentil, foxtail millet, little millet and pearl millet.

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