Wednesday, June 28, 2017
How to tackle iron and zinc deficiencies with a better variety of bread.
How to tackle iron and zinc deficiencies with a better variety of bread. Farmers and nutritionists have been working hand-in-hand to tackle iron and zinc deficiencies with bio fortification of crops to provide essential nutrients. The World Health Organization reports that anemia affects more than 30 percent of the world's population, and many cases are due to iron deficiency and many of the same people are also affected by zinc deficiencies. These conditions can lead to impaired growth, neurological problems and even early death. These deficiencies are common in developing countries and really devastating in children, the strategy involves fertilizing crops with the micronutrients,but the challenge was no one has figured out whether these added nutrients end up in food products made with the fortified crops or not. A new research reported in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has shown that that this type of biofortification can boost micronutrients in bread, but other factors are also important. The researchers found that fertilizing an old variety of wheat crop increased its flour's concentration of zinc by more than 78 percent. Iron levels remained about the same regardless of whether varieties were biofortified; however, the old variety in the study had higher concentrations of the micronutrient than the modern variety. The analysis also showed that milling grains, regardless of whether they came from biofortified crops, into whole wheat flour versus white flour resulted in higher levels of iron, zinc and other health-promoting compounds, including antioxidants. Additionally, the process of bread-making slightly changed iron and zinc concentrations, but greatly boosted their bioavailability by 77 and 70 percent, respectively. The researchers say their findings demonstrate that biofortification, milling technique and baking should all factor into strategies for enhancing bread with iron and zinc for fighting deficiencies.