Provitamin A Crops: Acceptability, Bioavailability, Efficacy and Effectiveness

Animal-sourced foods, though good sources of vitamin A, are often too expensive for poor rural populations. Crops biofortified with provitamin A offer a convenient and accessible source of vitamin A, compared to other micro-nutrient fortification and supplementation programs that require more expensive inputs. Biofortified crops rich in provitamin A include: maize, golden rice, cassava, and orange fleshed sweet potato (OFSP). Both animal and human studies have shown that provitamin A from biofortified crops is highly bioavailable, and is able to improve vitamin A status. The authors find that, after decades of research and promotion, it is time to fully commercialize provitamin A crops by encouraging farmers to start their large scale production and consumption.

Ampek, G. T., Namutebi, F. Turyashemererwa,  F. Muyonga, J. (2013) Food and Nutrition Sciences. Vol. 4. Pages 430-435.