Strategies for nutritional enhancement
There is no single approach to the improvement of the nutritional quality of
plant foods since this is affected by a wide variety of factors. Amongst these are:
- the application of traditional breeding methods to select for varieties with an
increased level of the bioactive compound
- a reduction in the content of antinutritional factors
- the use of genetic manipulation to introduce new traits in plants
- improvements in handling, storage and food processing technologies.
Each of these approaches has a role to play but genetic manipulation provides a
mechanism for the improvement of nutrional quality that overcomes the problem
of the absence of a specific biochemical pathway in a staple crop.