Biofortifying flour to reduce mineral deficiencies in Pakistan

How does nutrient-rich flour improve human health?

Lead researchers: Professor Nicola Lowe (UCLan) and Professor Martin Broadley 

Wheat is a staple crop in Pakistan, with most families consuming chapatis (made from wheat flour) at every meal. Over 40% of women in Pakistan are likely to be zinc deficient and over 20% have iron deficiency anaemia. This project explores the possibilities to introduce biofortified flour to reduce zinc and iron deficiencies in Pakistan. 

Biofortification is a process whereby the nutritional quality of food crops is improved through plant breeding techniques or through the addition of nutrient-rich fertilisers. The project will undertake a randomised control trial to assess the impact of consuming biofortified flour on zinc and iron status in a community setting in Pakistan. It is also seeking to understand wheat growing conditions and how best to support farmers improve yield and grain quality of biofortified wheat, and exploring ways to encourage sustainable production and consumption of biofortified wheat in Pakistan. 

This project is funded by GCRF.

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