Biofortified Cassava Supplies Increased Levels of Iron and Zinc
Cassava is a staple crop for many in Africa. Cassava only supplies about 10% of the recommended dietary levels of iron and zinc. A biofortified cassava developed by researcher Narayanan Narayanan from Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and colleagues have iron levels 7–18 times higher and zinc levels 3–10 times higher than conventional cassava. Measures of retention and bioaccessibility of iron and zinc in processed transgenic cassava indicated that IRT1 + FER1 plants could provide 40–50% of the EAR for iron and 60–70% of the EAR for zinc in 1- to 6-year-old children and nonlactating, nonpregnant West African women.