Newswise — June 7, 2018 – We experience fortified food in items like vitamin D-fortified milk or fortified breakfast cereals. But what is biofortified food? The June 7th Sustainable, Secure Food blog explains what biofortified food is. It also explains how crop scientists are using it to solve malnutrition worldwide.

“Biofortification is the effort to develop new food crop varieties with higher amounts of micronutrients,” says Adam Heuberger, Colorado State University. “The improved food starts with the seeds sown into the field. This allows communities and farmers to grow their own biofortified food product. They can also retain seeds from this year’s crop for next year.”

Some biofortification occurs through the availability of nutrients in a field’s soil and water. However, this can vary from field-to-field and year-to-year.

“The most promising method of biofortification is through genetics,” Heuberger says. “Breeders research the development of a new type of crop that retains all of the good qualities of the parent plants. The goal is to retain the high yield, disease resistance, and good taste of a crop–while increasing nutrient value.”

Biofortification can be applied to many crops to fit local food traditions and nutritional needs. Over 20 million people have benefitted from biofortified crops! Examples include:

  • High iron millet in India
  • High pro-vitamin A sweet potatoes in Uganda
  • High iron beans in sub-Saharan Africa

To read the complete blog, visit Sustainable, Secure Food at

This blog is sponsored and written by members of the American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America. Our members are researchers and trained, certified, professionals in the areas of growing our world’s food supply while protecting our environment. We work at universities, government research facilities and private businesses across the United States and the world.