Mining maize diversity and improving its nutritional aspects within agro‐food systems uri icon

abstract

  • Agro-food systems are undergoing rapid innovation in the world and the system's continuum is promoted at different scales with one of the main outcomes to improve nutrition of consumers. Consumer knowledge through educational outreach is important to food and nutrition security and consumer demands guide breeding efforts. Maize is an important part of food systems. It is a staple food and together with rice and wheat, they provide 60% of the world's caloric intake. In addition to being a major contributor to global food and nutrition security, maize forms an important part of the culinary culture in many areas of Africa, the Americas, and Asia. Maize genetics are being exploited to improve human nutrition with the ultimate outcome of improving overall health. By impacting the health of maize consumers, market opportunities will be opened for maize producers with unique genotypes. Although maize is a great source of macronutrients, it is also a source of many micronutrients and phytochemicals purported to confer health benefits. The process of biofortification through traditional plant breeding has increased the protein, provitamin A carotenoid, and zinc contents of maize. The objective of this paper is to review the innovations developed and promoted to improve the nutritional profiles of maize and outcomes of the maize agro-food system.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020