The production and promotion of nutrient rich foodstuffs to address the double burden of malnutrition.

Lead Research Organisation: Royal Holloway, University of London
Department Name: Biological Sciences

Abstract

The United Nations have declared 2016 to 2025 as the decade of action to eradicate all forms of malnutrition worldwide; ensuring access to healthier and more sustainable diets for all, regardless of location and whoever they are. This brief also encompasses the double burden of malnutrition now facing most societies and characterised by the coexistence of undernutrition along with overweight, obesity or diet-related noncommunicable disease (NCDs). The proposed project "NUTRIFOOD" will improve the nutritional quality of diets in West Africa by identifying new nutritionally enhanced varieties of tomato, amaranth, cassava and yam; incorporating these fruits and vegetables and their derived products into the food systems will diversify the existing food basket and provide improved quality. The project will draw upon global resources and expertise, utilising unique germplasm. The tools and resources developed are generic in nature and although our focus will be Nigeria and Benin in West Africa the findings can be translated across other SSA countries and Low Medium Income countries globally. Fruit and vegetables are rich in provitamin A. One of our key performance indicators will be the provision of foodstuffs with the potential to reduce Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD). VAD is widespread in low-income countries and prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) where 83% of children aged 2 to 5 years exhibit VAD. As a result of this malnutrition, 500,000 cases of blindness and 1.25 million deaths occur annually. With this aim, NUTRIFOOD will focus on high provitamin A fruits and vegetables as well as the high caloric staple crops cassava and yam biofortified with provitamin A and other nutrients The processing approaches used will potentially create storable products with improved nutrient uptake. As vitamin A is essential for well-being in the first 1000 days of life and the development of children, schools and households will be target in NUTRIFOOD. In Benin and Nigeria nutritional interventions in schools will be carried out. Potentially, these studies could contribute to the alleviation of VAD and improved cognitive development in infants. Modern communication technologies and approaches will be used to communicate the advantages of healthy diets and how to generate healthy diets in a cost-effective manner. The consortium will carried out a series of workshops to which multi-actors across the supply chain will be invited. With, scientists, NGO representatives, policy makers, parents (mothers) and civil organisations involved co-design approaches to the implementation of healthy diets will be attempted and promoted.

Planned Impact

NUTRIFOOD activities are aligned to, and synergistic with, the Sustainable Development Goals aimed at ending all forms of malnutrition (SDG2) and ensuring healthy lives and well-being for all at all ages (SDG3). Benefits of the research proposal will include short to long-term societal and economic development in our principal partner countries, Nigeria and Benin. In addition, the project's outputs have potential transferable impact across sub-Saharan Africa and beyond including Latin America. Thus, the project has global potential to address the double burden of malnutrition at the levels of individuals, households and populations.
A wealth of scientific evidence is available, linking diets to improved health, wellbeing and quality of life. It is estimated that nearly one in three persons globally suffers from at least one form of malnutrition or diet-related noncommunicable disease (NCD). The developmental, economic, social and medical impacts of this global burden of malnutrition are serious and lasting, for individuals and their families, for communities and for countries. The vast economic losses and welfare costs associated with diet related disease states are estimated to be $2 trillion USD or a 3% global GDP loss. Diversification of foods and improved nutritional quality as advocated in NUTRIFOOD and represents a cost-effective means of addressing the double burden of malnutrition.
In NUTRIFOOD we have a focus on Vitamin A deficiency (VAD); because our activities are directed towards households and children, especial the first 1000 days of life. VAD is widespread in low-income countries and prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) where 83% of children aged 2 to 5 years exhibit VAD. As a result of this malnutrition, 500,000 cases of blindness and 1.25 million deaths occur annually. NUTRIFOOD will diversify and introduce biofortified beta carotene foodstuffs across the food system to directly impact on VAD.
NUTRIFOOD offers the SSA and Latin American farmers and their countries' economies an opportunity to develop new income streams and business/enterprise opportunities, linking poor rural communities to growth markets that impact on food security, poverty alleviation, and equity. In addition, the project outputs have improved health promoting properties, quality and environmental credentials. These opportunities will potentially improve the livelihoods of small holder farmers and subsequently all associated parties across the supply chain. These advances will also create employment/business opportunities both domestically and overseas. This will increase revenue generation, advance much needed rural development and increase individual and national prosperity. A key feature of the NUTRIFOOD programme is the direct engagement with households and children as well as multi-actors from small holder farmers and across the supply chains, encompassing local industries and retailers. Therefore, the outputs from the project will be evaluated under "real-life" scenarios with input and engagement across the potential supply chain. The multi-actor parties involved will be supported by IITA's, CIAT's and AVRDC's local engagement activities, providing web-based advice, open days and helpdesks, technology transfer events and procedures to assist the adoption of new improved varieties, cultivation and food processing practices and meal planning. Training and capacity building are an essential component of NUTRIFOOD. Specific training exchanges between all partners will be performed to ensure technology and information transfer. Thus, the NUTRIFOOD project will contribute to the development of skills and resources in the targeted regions. For example individual young scientists with expertise in plant breeding, nutritional, social science and analytical science with be generated. Our present estimate is that five new posts will be created, increasing critical mass in the field.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Videos and interviews highlighting and promoting the work of NutriFood 
Description Video highlighting and promoting the work of NutriFood 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact Awareness and school gardens and the distribution of seed packs for fruit and vegetables. 
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_Rsvuglq9g
 
Description 1. A high provitamin A tomato has been produced.
2. A high zeaxanthin capsicum has been produced.
3. A high provitamin A cabbage has been identified.
4. A database of metabolites for RTB crops has been generated.
5. School and home gardens developed; this will impact on the trajectory of future diets in the regions.
6. School feeding programme established in regions of Nigeria, again this will impact on the trajectory of future healthy diets in the target regions.
7. Food metabolomics developed for chemical composition of meals, this represents a technology advance for the evaluation of food consumption in the region, improved food safety and assessment of biochemical and nutritional composition.
8. Food surveys for consumption produced, provides an indication of diets in the region and fruit and vegetable consumption.
9. Yam diversity and new consumer preference species identified, Yam has a low glycaemic index compared to cassava and banana and therefore potential reduce the onset of diabetes.
Amaranth species with improved nutrient dense profiles identified, these lines can deliver improved xanthophyll, vitamin C and provitamin A contents.
High beta carotene cassava characterised and its food products, these products will contribute to the eradication of healthy diets in the region.
Cassava genetic and metabolomic diversity characterised to identify consumer and agronomic traits. These data have significant impact on the breeding of new varieties of cassava to compact food security and nutritional issues.
Interaction and capacity established between UK scientists and those in LMICs, the award has enable the skillset of UK scientists to be developed for combating pertinent economic and societal questions facing the target region.
Exploitation Route Agri-industry and the introduction of new varieties this appproach is underway.
The consortium has applied for further funding via a Horozon Europe call with the Uk as the coordinating partner.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Creative Economy,Education,Environment,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Retail

URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_Rsvuglq9g
 
Description Societal and cultural - highlighting the welfare benefits of consuming provitamin A
First Year Of Impact 2019
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description from external source
Amount £60,000 (GBP)
Organisation Burpee Europe Ltd 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2021 
End 09/2024
 
Title Data base of metabolites in major crops in the region 
Description Data base of metabolites in major crops in the region 
Type Of Material Physiological assessment or outcome measure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Biochemical composition of staple RTB crops. 
URL https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/tpj.14649
 
Title https://doi.org/10.1111/tpj.14649 
Description https://doi.org/10.1111/tpj.14649 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact https://doi.org/10.1111/tpj.14649 
 
Description Food ingredients 
Organisation Nestlé Foundation
Country Switzerland 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Knowledge on varieties
Collaborator Contribution Knowledge on varieties
Impact Survey information
Start Year 2020
 
Description Industrial collaboration 
Organisation Syngenta International AG
Department Syngenta Ltd (Bracknell)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Analysis of volatiles present in the EpiRil population
Collaborator Contribution Funding
Impact outputs not ready yet
Start Year 2020
 
Description Industrial partnership 
Organisation Burpee Europe Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Analysis of breeding lines
Collaborator Contribution construction of breeding lines
Impact Not yet
Start Year 2020
 
Title Carotenoid standards 
Description Carotenoid reference standards 
Type Of Technology New Material/Compound 
Year Produced 2022 
Impact RHUL are selling the carotenoid reference standards. 
 
Description Caturing metabolic diversity in yam 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Conference talk at PAG in the yam genomics session
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description College open days 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact College open days talks on the projects and discussion groups.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description General public 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Communication forum on New plant breeding techniques "People Jury" virtual
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description School visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talk and forum by Dr Enfissi on healthy diets and plant based foods
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Schools taster day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact School science taster day
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Video showing Nutrifood activities 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact https://zh-cn.facebook.com/102132524863334/videos/2841864039367835/?__so__=watchlist&__rv__=video_home_www_playlist_video_list
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://zh-cn.facebook.com/102132524863334/videos/2841864039367835/?__so__=watchlist&__rv__=video_ho...