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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2002 Apr;13(2):142-5.

Improving iron, zinc and vitamin A nutrition through plant biotechnology.

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  • 1Laboratory of Human Nutrition, Institute of Food Science and Nutrition, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, PO Box 474, CH-8803 Rüschlikon, Switzerland. michael.zimmermann@ilw.agrl.ethz.ch


Recent understanding of plant metabolism has made it possible to increase the iron, zinc and beta-carotene (provitamin A) content in staple foods by both conventional plant breeding and genetic engineering. Improving the micronutrient composition of plant foods may become a sustainable strategy to combat deficiencies in human populations, replacing or complementing other strategies such as food fortification or nutrient supplementation.

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