Provitamin A-biofortified maize is currently being evaluated for use in the alleviation of vitamin A deficiency. Apart from the differences in provitamin A content, the nutritional composition of provitamin A-biofortified maize compared to white maize is hardly known. This study aimed to evaluate the protein and selected micronutrient composition of biofortified maize varieties and the quality of their grains. A total of 32 provitamin A-biofortified maize varieties was analysed for their starch, fat, protein and mineral content. The milling and storage quality of the biofortified maize grains were also assessed. When compared with the white maize variety, the biofortified varieties were higher in starch, fat and protein, but were lower in iron. The biofortified maize varieties were better sources of most of the essential amino acids relative to the white variety, but, similar to the white maize, they were deficient in histidine and lysine. Overall, the quality of the grains of the biofortified maize varieties was superior to that of the white maize grain, although, the biofortified grains were more susceptible to fungal invasion. This study indicates that, in terms of the nutrients assessed, provitamin A-biofortified maize is generally superior to white maize, except for minerals.
Pillay, K.; Siwela, M.; Derera, J.; Veldman, F.J. Influence of biofortification with provitamin A on protein, selected micronutrient composition and grain quality of maize. African Journal of Biotechnology (2013) 12 (34) 5285-5293. [DOI: 10.5897/AJB12.2920]