Novel staple food-based strategies to improve micronutrient status for better health and development in sub-Saharan Africa

    Project: EU research project

    Project Details


    Malnutrition, and especially deficiencies of micronutrients like iron, zinc and vitamin A, undermine the progress towards most of the Millennium Development Goals. In view of the serious coverage, compliance and safety concerns of supplementation, this project aims to identify novel staple food-based approaches to improve micronutrient malnutrition for better health and development of women and children in sub-Saharan Africa. It will focus on the improvement of millet-, sorghum-, maize-, and cassava based (complementary) foods. The genetic potential of staple foods for increasing the micronutrient and antinutrient content will be evaluated and the determinants of success and failure of introducing biofortified staple foods in local farming systems will be assessed. The efficacy of biofortified staple foods with adequate levels of provitamin A will be determined. Concerning fortification, the project will develop and test new approaches to optimise iron and zinc fortification of staple food-based foods. The project will develop improved (traditional) processing methods of the staple foods concerned to enhance micronutrient uptake and bioavailability. The developed approaches in the area of biofortification, fortification and processing will be compared on efficacy of improving iron and zinc intake and status. The safety of the improved staple foods on immunity and infections will be evaluated as well as the impact on cognitive development of young children. Through capacity building and strengthening the scientific and technological excellence in the field of staple food-based approaches in Africa and Europe, the project seeks to significantly contribute to the improvement of the dietary quality of young children and their mothers living in resource poor areas in sub-Saharan Africa. New scientific knowledge will be exploited to strengthen the competitiveness of local SMEs targeted at evidence-based production of healthier (complementary) foods for African children.
    Effective start/end date1/06/0830/11/13


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