Combating Hidden Hunger through Bio-fortification
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Combating Hidden Hunger through Bio-fortification Annual Program Review 2011 Nairobi, Kenya 10 May 2011. Martha Nyagaya. Hidden hunger- A m assive p roblem. Map: USAID. Map: USAID. 10m deaths/yr, 50% due to malnutrition, more illness $ diseases low cognitive ability,

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Combating Hidden Hunger through Bio-fortification

Annual Program Review 2011

Nairobi, Kenya10 May2011

Martha Nyagaya

Hidden hunger a m assive p roblem
Hidden hunger- A massive problem



10m deaths/yr, 50% due to malnutrition, more illness $ diseases low cognitive ability,

Low capacity for physical labor, stunted impaired growth, poor reproductive health,

Decline in productivity>lower GDP


ProVitamin A



The process of improving the

nutritive value of staple foods


  • Conventional breeding

  • Genetic engineering

  • Fertilizer with trace elements

Bio-fortification: Complements existing nutrition interventions

Commercial Fortification


Dietary Diversity


Bio fortification a sustainable agricultural strategy for reducing micronutrient malnutrition
Bio-fortification- A sustainable agricultural strategy for reducing micronutrient malnutrition

Targets the poor – who depend heavily on staple foods

Rural based – complements fortification and supplementation

Cost effective – research at a central location can be multiplied across countries and time

Sustainable – investments are front loaded with low recurrent costs

A novel strategy for delivering micronutrient on a daily basis

Biofortification: Improves status for those less deficient and maintains status for all

Iron Deficient

Iron Sufficient

Population Distribution

Biofortification and Commercial Fortification




Pabra s focus on beans
PABRA ‘S Focus on Beans crops

Most important staple food in parts of Eastern Africa and Latin America

High content of iron absorption inhibitors polyphenols and phytic acid

Per capita consumption in Rwanda is about 27 kg/year (200 g/day)‏

Iron absorption around


High iron content

(up to 10 mg/100g)

Major protein, and mineral source

Will bio fortification of beans w ork
Will Bio-fortification of cropsbeans work?

  • Can breeding increase nutrient levels enough to improve human nutrition?

  • Will the extra nutrients be bio-available at sufficient levels to improve micronutrient status?

  • Will farmers adopt crops and will consumers buy/eat in sufficient quantities?

Activities and targets ciat business plan
Activities and Targets – cropsCIAT Business Plan

  • Produce seed of released bio-fort lines

    • Two micronutrient dense bean varieties disseminated and promoted in two countries in eastern and southern Africa

  • Conduct multi-locational trials to validate levels of iron over sites

    • 20 F3.5 small seeded families with 90% more iron

  • Develop weaning (complementary) foods with bean flour with private sector

    • At least 5 diversified bean based foods addressing micronutrient deficiencies are developed, tested, and evaluated with farmers

Multidisciplinary research teams of partners for delivery of bio fortified beans in pabra
Multidisciplinary cropsresearch teams of partners for delivery of Bio-fortified beans in PABRA

Research on micronutrient rich beans
Research on cropsMicronutrient Rich Beans

Determine nutrient targets-Iron -Zinc -Other foods consumed

Germplasm screening-Analytical methods for rapid analysis of nutrients

Food science Bioavailability studies*

Biological impact in humans‘Efficacy’

Population impact ‘Effectiveness’

Source: HarvestPlus

Baseline nutrition s urveys burundi drc
Baseline cropsnutrition surveys: Burundi & DRC

  • Feasibility of improving nutrition status of vulnerable communities with improved bean varieties

  • Less than 50% well nourished

  • High prevalence of

  • stunting (57%)

  • High correlation between stunting (H/A) and underweight (W/A)

Incidence and cause of food insecurity
Incidence and cause of food cropsinsecurity

Source: CIALCA

Determine Breeding Targets crops

Bioavailablemicronutrient content ≥ Desired Amount

Target Increment µgg-1 to be added



Iron: 5 - 10%

Zinc: 25%

Retention - processing losses

Storage losses

Baseline micronutrient level in commercial crop

Targets 3 fold increase in bean iron
Targets: 3 fold increase in cropsbean iron

  • Iron content in bean

    • Baseline = 50 micrograms/gram

    • Target = 94 micrograms/gram

    • Estimated bio-fortification target increment = 44 micrograms/gram

  • Zinc content in bean

    • Baseline = 30 micrograms/gram

    • Target = 47 micrograms/gram

    • Estimated bio-fortification target increment = 17 micrograms/gram

  • Consumption

    • 200 grams/day – women;

    • 100 grams/day – children 4-6 years of age;

    • 50 grams/day - 1-3 year olds

      • Assumed iron retention - 85%

      • Assumed absorption - 5%

Participatory variety selection
Participatory cropsVariety Selection

  • 86% of farmers prioritize agronomic superiority over micronutrient density

  • Data from South Western Uganda

  • N = 1200

    • Agronomic superiority

    • Cooking qualities

    • Marketability

    • Nutrition quality

Will intake of additional iron from beans improve micronutrient status
Will intake of additional Iron from beans improve micronutrient status?

High variation in Iron levels

Inhibitors of iron absorption in beans
Inhibitors of iron absorption in beans micronutrient status?


Wide variations depending on bean varieties (color)

Mainly in bean hulls

Phytic acid

Content constantly high 0.7-1.2 g/100 g

Mainly in cotyledons




mg GAE/100g dm











Oba -1

G 2331


Roba 1

CAB 19


GLP 24

ABA 136

MEX 142

RWR 10


GLP 585

AND 620

RWV 528

HRS 545



Selian 97

MCM 2001

Ituri Matata




VNB 81010

VCB 81013

TY 3396-12

MLB 49/89A

CAB 19 (F9)

Mashai Red

Awash Melka


Umubano K1


TajeriFoman 2006

Options for increasing adequacy of iron intake
Options for increasing adequacy of iron intake? micronutrient status?

Enhancers of absorption

Inhibitors of absorption

Plant ferritin





Loss of iron fe and zn in bean after cooking
% loss of iron Fe and Zn in micronutrient status?bean after cooking

Effect of cooking on tannins and phytates
Effect of Cooking on Tannins and micronutrient status?Phytates

New recipes
New Recipes micronutrient status?

6 recipe books developed

Bean product development
Bean Product micronutrient status?Development

Development of Bean Based food products that address target nutrient deficiencies in children

Focus – Iron, zinc and protein needs/deficiencies, nutrient density and quality

This products is being tested in Ethiopia for utilization in addressing iron zinc and protein deficiencies in children weaning away from breast feeding

Bioavailability of micronutrient status?iron and zinc in green shelled and dry beans

Comparative evaluation of % in vitro bio-availability of minerals cooked with Magadi soda and/or bean ash

Percentages of respective mineral along rows with same superscripts for magadi and bean-ash samples are not significantly different at P≤0.05

Reduction of cooking time effect of soaking
Reduction of minerals cooked with cooking time – effect of soaking

Efficacy minerals cooked with

To establish whether there is a physiological adaptation to the inhibitory effect of bean polyphenols during long term consumption of a mixed diet

To compare the biological impact of iron bio-fortified beans on biochemical and functional indicators of iron status

Scaling up dissemination with partnerships for reu at different levels
Scaling up dissemination with minerals cooked with partnerships for REU at different levels

Summary minerals cooked with

  • Breeding progress is good and several bio-fortified bean varieties can be released by 2012

  • Nutritional impact is assessed throughout development – efforts will be intensified will be intensified in the next year

  • Dissemination strategies are considered early on in product development

    • Impact

    • Costs