Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and micronutrient fortification in food crops using nanoparticle technology

Oh, S., Cave, G. ORCID: 0000-0002-4167-1332 and Lu, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-0064-4725, 2021. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and micronutrient fortification in food crops using nanoparticle technology. Frontiers in Plant Science, 12: 668819. ISSN 1664-462X

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It is necessary to develop a resilient food supply that will withstand unexpected future shocks and deliver the required amounts of nutrients to consumers. By increasing the sustainability of food and agriculture, the food system will be able to handle challenges such as climate change, declining agricultural resources, growing population/urbanization, pandemics, and recessions/shortages. Micronutrient deficiency, otherwise called hidden hunger, is one of the major malnutrition consequences worldwide, particularly in middle- or low- income countries. Unlike essential mineral or nutrient compounds, micronutrients could be less of a priority due to their small levels of requirement. However, insufficient micronutrients caused critical adverse health symptoms and are excessively vital for young children’s development. Therefore, there have been numerous attempts to enhance minerals and nutrients in food crops, including biofortification, food fortification, and supplementation. Based on several interventions involving micronutrients, modern technology, such as nanotechnology, can be applied to enhance sustainability and to reduce the food system’s environmental impact. Previous studies have addressed various strategies or interventions to mitigate major micronutrient deficiency including iron, iodine, zinc, and vitamin A. Comparably small amounts of studies have addressed vitamin B12 deficiency and its fortification in food crops. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes serious adverse health effects, including in the nervous or blood systems, and occurs along with other micronutrient deficiencies, such as folate, iron, and zinc, worldwide, particularly in middle- and low-income countries. Mitigation for B12 deficiency has mainly focused on developing pharmacological and medical treatments such as vitamin B12 serum or supplements. Further studies are required to undertake a sustainable approach to fortify vitamin B12 in plant-based food sources for public health worldwide. This review paper highlights nanoparticle application as a promising technology for enhancing vitamin B12 without conventional genetic modification requirements. The nanoparticle can efficiently deliver the mineral/nutrient using coating techniques to targeted sites into the plant. This is mainly because nanoparticles have better solubility and permeability due to their nano size with high surface exposure. Vitamin B12-coated nanoparticles would be absorbed, translocated, and accumulated by the plant and eventually enhance the bioavailability in food crops. Furthermore, by reducing adverse environmental effects, such as leaching issues that mainly occur with conventional fertilizer usage, it would be possible to develop more sustainable food fortification.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Frontiers in Plant Science
Creators: Oh, S., Cave, G. and Lu, C.
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Date: 23 August 2021
Volume: 12
ISSN: 1664-462X
Rights: © 2021 Oh, Cave and Lu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 27 Aug 2021 08:06
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 08:06

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