Biofortification of Brassicas for Quality Improvement

  • M. S. Sujith Kumar
  • Ibandalin Mawlong
  • Reema Rani


Over a billion people in the developing countries are estimated to be suffering from insidious hunger due to micronutrient malnutrition. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), >40% of the world population are deprived of micronutrients of some form, even after fulfilling the staple food requirements. In order to solve this problem, micronutrients need to be supplemented in the staple food in sufficient quantity. This has led to a shift in agriculture sector toward producing nutrient-rich food crops, rather than just increasing the production and supply of staple food crops. This would help in mitigating the “hidden hunger,” especially in poor and developing countries. This approach focuses on improving the nutritional quality of the agricultural produce that people already consume rather than artificially adding health-promoting substances to the diet. This strategy is widely known as biofortification and it takes place in the field rather than in the factory. It is the process of developing food crops that are rich in bioavailable micro- or macronutrients. Biofortified crops are naturally loaded with minerals and vitamins in their edible parts in a bioavailable form which benefits the consumer. There are different approaches for biofortification, such as agronomic practices, conventional breeding, and biotechnological techniques, which will be discussed in this chapter in the context of oilseed rape and mustard. In rapeseed-mustard crops, there have been efforts to increase the oil and protein contents as well as minerals, such as zinc, Boron, potassium, and iron, using one of the approaches mentioned above. Conventional breeding and biotechnological approaches have been employed to restrict the levels of antinutritional compounds such as glucosinolates and erucic acid through quality improvement programmes.


Brassica Biofortification Agronomic practices Conventional breeding Biotechnological approaches 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. S. Sujith Kumar
    • 1
  • Ibandalin Mawlong
    • 1
  • Reema Rani
    • 2
  1. 1.BiochemistryICAR-Directorate of Rapeseed-Mustard ResearchBharatpurIndia
  2. 2.BiotechnologyICAR-Directorate of Rapeseed-Mustard ResearchBharatpurIndia

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