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Biofortified Crops for Improved Human Nutrition


Screen micronutrient enhanced genotypes of staple food crops for bioavailable Fe and determine the interactions of dietary constituents on the bioavailability of these micronutrients. Also refine in vitro cell model to include hind gut microorganism affects on Fe and Zn
bioavailability from foods containing non-digestible carbohydrates (e.g., inulin) and refine Fe bioavailability pig model.

More information

The Caco-2 in vitro model will be used to screen genotypes to identify those of high or low iron bioavailability; thus refining experimental objectives and approaches for more definitive animal and human trials. We will also develop this model for measurement of Zn bioavailability and test the model. The in vitro models will be used to measure Fe and Zn availability. In 2003, we will screen approximately 15 - 30 varieties of beans to be supplied by CIAT. We will identify those with promise for greater Fe and Zn content and bioavailability. We will refine a weanling piglet model for determining the bioavailability of iron from staple plant foods. We will adapt the model to a wheat-based diet. The select bean diet, will be formulated as the initial reference diet to determine the response sensitivity of the model for iron analyses. Number of pigs, duration of feeding trials, and levels of dietary iron will be optimized. Protocols for using stable isotope tracers will be developed and compared with our hemoglobin repletion protocol.

Welch, Ross
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
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