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July 5th, 2007

Global control of micronutrient deficiencies

Professor Zimmerman thinks that traditional strategies are not enough, however. In addition, much effort must be invested in innovation. He points here to plant breeding or genetic modification - bio-fortification - to increase vitamin and mineral content and their absorption. Modifying the genes in rice, for example, can increase iron content and at the same time enhance iron absorption in the human body. Zimmerman also sees a great deal of potential in the application of nanotechnology in order to increase the solubility of micronutrients in water and thus lead to their greater absorption by the body. The human body is generally a poor absorber of ferric sulphate but good absorption of this substance can be achieved if the particle size of the substance can be reduced greatly, as Zimmermann has already demonstrated in an animal study.


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