Submitted to: Food and Nutrition Bulletin
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: A rat model was used to determine the bioavailability of Fe and Zn in bean seeds and rice grain from enriched genotypes of these globally important staple foods. Seed and grain from the genotypes tested (intrinsically radiolabeled with either 59Fe or 65Zn) were cooked, homogenized in water and lyophilized to dryness. The dried radiolabeled powder was fed to young gmale rats in single meals. Bioavailability was calculated from radiolabel retained in the rats over a 10-d period determined each day by 'whole body' gamma spectrometry assay. Data collected demonstrates that increasing the amount of Fe or Zn in enriched rice grain and bean seed significantly increases the amount of Fe or Zn bioavailable to rats. These results support the contention that breeding for micronutrient-dense staple plant foods is an effective way of improving their nutritional quality with respect to these micronutrients. Human feeding trials should be initiated as soon as possible to test the effectiveness of the most promising genotypes available in alleviating Fe and Zn deficiencies in people suffering from deficiencies of these micronutrients.