Srishti Singh Parihar, Karuna Sahu and Reema lautre
Ph.D. (Hort.) scholar, Department of Vegetable Science, 
College of Agriculture, IGKV, Raipur, (C.G.),

In the past few decades, the major concern on this planet was food security. After making a successful lead in food security now, the developing nations are focusing on nutritional security, which includes food that is enriched in minerals and vitamins. Micronutrients and vitamins are essential for human growth and development. Any deficiency of these components leads to “hidden hunger.” About 800 million people suffer from hunger, but even more suffer from micronutrient malnutrition, particularly in the developing countries. Iodine, vitamin A, iron, and zinc malnutrition are major concerns. The malnutrition of minerals (Fe, Zn) and vitamin A are major food-related primary health problem among populations of the developing world including India.

One such approach to combat the issue of micronutrient malnutrition is through bio-fortification, can be defined as the enhancement of minerals and vitamins in order to elevate the nutritional value of any food crop. Which provides a comparatively cost-effective, sustainable, and long-term means of delivering more micronutrients to rural populations in developing countries. Currently, agronomic, conventional, and transgenic bio-fortifications are three common approaches. Agronomic bio-fortification can provide temporary micronutrient increases through fertilizers. In conventional plant breeding, parent lines with high vitamin or mineral levels can be crossed over several generations to produce plants that have the desired nutrients. Transgenic approaches are advantageous when the nutrient does not naturally exist in a crop (example, provitamin A in sweet potato and cassava). Many genes are available for the target traits by which it will be possible to improve micronutrient in vegetables. These tools can be very much helpful in improving the level of micronutrients and vitamins by several-fold in vegetables. Recently, there have been several reports on the development of transgenic crops to enhance levels provitamin A content in crops like tomato, potato, cassava, sweet potato, beans and other vegetable crops.

What is Bio-fortification?
Greek word “bios” means “life” and Latin word “fortificare” means “make strong”
Bio-fortification can be defined as the development of micronutrient-dense staple crops (cereals and vegetables) using traditional plant breeding practices, modern biotechnology, and agronomical approached. In this process, the concentration of plant-derived nutrition and vitamins is increased in the edible organ during the growth and development of the plant. (O’Hare 2015).

Methods of bio-fortification

Biofortified Varieties

  • Bio-fortification help in overcoming nutrient deficiency economically especially in rural areas.
  • Application of bio-fortified crops would benefit farmers by increasing their income in the long run.
  • Functional crops can play an important role in fighting against different types of nutrition deficiency and malnutrition.
  • Bio-fortification is a cost-effective, feasible means of reaching populations who may have limited availability and access to diverse diets, supplements, or commercially fortified foods.

Amir Hameed, Syed Shan-e-Ali Zaidi , Sara Shakir and Shahid Mansoor (2019) Applications of New Breeding Technologies for Potato Improvement Frontiers in Plant Science Volume 9. 
Yadava D.K., Hossain F. and Mohapatra T. (2018). Nutritional security through crop biofortification in India: Status & future prospects. Indian J. Medical Research. 148: 621-631.