Biofortification of vegetables for the developed world

T.J. O'Hare
Biofortification can be defined as increasing the concentration of plant-derived nutrients in the edible organ during growth and development, over and above that which would be considered a LSQUOnormalRSQUO or LSQUOstandardRSQUO concentration. There has been considerable effort to biofortify staple crops to address micronutrient deficiencies (LSQUOhidden hungerRSQUO) in developing countries, but less effort has been focussed on biofortifying fruit and vegetables with phytonutrients to improve first world nutrition. Part of this could be related to the availability of pharmaceutical supplements containing plant-derived nutrients, which have had less regulatory restriction than the introduction of novel food products. There appears to be a growing trend however, away from a LSQUOpill-poppingRSQUO society towards preferences for more natural sources of nutrition and nutritious food. Increasing the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables through biofortification, or increasing their nutrient density, is an attractive means of increasing nutrition without necessarily increasing intake. First-world diseases or disorders are commonly different to those in developed countries, with more emphasis on age-related diseases (e.g., macular degeneration, prostate cancer) or over-consumption (obesity). Biofortification of fruits and vegetables with phytonutrients to address these diseases is underway, and currently includes examples such as phytonutrient-enhanced sweet-corn, tomatoes, and broccoli.
O'Hare, T.J. (2015). Biofortification of vegetables for the developed world. Acta Hortic. 1106, 1-8
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1106.1
functional foods, zeaxanthin, glucoraphanin, sulforaphane, lycopene, macular degeneration, cancer

Acta Horticulturae