Volume 6, Issue 5, October Issue - 2018, Pages:751-762
Authors: Ayan Das, S. K. Singh, Maneesh Kumar, Omkar Kumar
Abstract: Zinc (Zn) is an essential trace element needed for proper growth of plants, animals and human. The area where there is deficiency of Zn in the soil is also the area with widespread occurrence of Zn deficiency in human. Zinc fertilization in the field will not only help in correcting Zn deficiency in the crop and obtaining better yield and productivity, but will also help in fighting against malnutrition due to Zn in the population relying on that crop. Various approaches like industrial fortification, food supplementation and dietary diversification are implemented to fight against micronutrient malnutrition. However, these are neither sustainable as well as cost-effective, nor do they target the rural population. Biofortification of Zn in the grains of staple food crops is a better option to reach the poorest of the poor. However, biofortifying the crops with micronutrients meet up with several challenges. More than 50% of the Zn is lost during milling. The remaining fraction of Zn is also not available to the full extent for intestinal absorption due to presence of some antinutrient factors like phytates. Therefore, the biofortification programmes should aim at engineering Zn partitioning more to seed endosperm, curbing loss of Zn, Fe and other essentials during processing and Zn profiling of food crops along with Fe and other nutrients, antinutrients and promoters to get a better crop for a healthy life.