Super-enriched banana will undergo its first human trial

Published Date : Jun 18, 2014

According to Australian researchers, a genetically enhanced banana which is supposed to improve the lives of millions of Africans will soon undergo its first human trial. This trial will test the banana for its vitamin A content.

This project aims to have the special banana varieties enriched with beta and alpha carotene. These get converted into Vitamin A in the body. The bananas are now transported to U.S. It is expected that the six week trial will help to measure how well they accept vitamin A in human beings.

According to a professor, science helps to make a huge difference by enriching the local crops such as bananas with Vitamin A which will provide subsistence-farming populations with nutritious food.

According to a professor, the effects of Vitamin A deficiency are dreadful with around 700,000 children dying around the world every year. And at least 300,000 go blind from the deficiency every year. He also said that that science will help them to minimize this problem. The genes that were introduced in bananas had made all the constructs. According to the professor the banana is a staple food in East Africa and contains low level of micro-nutrients especially, low levels of iron and pro-vitamin A.

The best solution to deficiency-related problems for the researchers was to enrich the stable crop. The enriched banana will look the same on the outside, but the flesh of the banana will be more orange in color rather than cream. However, this shouldn’t be a problem the professor stated.