October 31, 2016 - Phys.org
University of Melbourne researchers are on the cusp of making a real difference by developing a new strain of rice that contains much higher quantities of the essential micronutrients iron and zinc in the grain. This has the potential to reduce chronic malnutrition disorders that can be caused by an over-reliance on rice in the human diet.
The World Health Organization estimates that 30 per cent of the world's population is anaemic, in many cases because people simply aren't getting enough iron in their diet. Anaemia leaves people weak and lethargic and it is a significant, even fatal, health risk to pregnant women and children. Similar numbers of people are at risk of not getting enough zinc, resulting in stunted growth and impaired immune function.