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Salad crop fortification with Vitamin B12 to close a hidden hunger gap


We will develop an optimised and cost-effective methodological framework for B12 fortification of pea shoots, which will be commercially deployable to produce B12 fortified supermarket salad products. This will provide a pathway to enhance public health by allowing B12 consumption with food, which substantially increases B12 absorption. To achieve this goal, we will: Develop a reproducible and low-cost method for the fortification of pea shoots with B12. This includes the development of a costed economic farm model and life cycle assessment for its production. Determine the shelf life and nutritional value of B12 fortified pea shoots. This includes assessment of the stability of B12 and total nutrient composition of fortified pea shoots in time-course experiments that replicate a chilled food supply chain, and measuring B12 bioavailability during human digestion with a laboratory gut model. Identify varieties of microgreen pea that accumulate B12 most efficiently. This will inform growers about variety choice, with the insights providing a foundation for future breeding of elite pea varieties with optimized B12 accumulation. Develop a method that can be deployed to provide a Quality Assessment to Certify B12 fortified pea shoots.

Professor Antony Dodd
John Innes Centre
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