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  • Boosting nutrition and health through standard for enriched food grains

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    Guest Message from PAS 233 team

    Message from the PAS 233 team:


    One in three people worldwide currently suffers from some type of malnutrition, according to the Global Nutrition Report from 20161. With one in five deaths linked to poor diets2, and poor-quality diets linked to 8 out of 15 factors in the global burden of disease3, enriched food grains can combat malnutrition.

    The PAS 233 standard has been introduced to help government and private sector procurement teams, as well as other organisations in the food supply chain, to feel confident when demanding and purchasing zinc enriched crops, which are proven in boosting nutrition and health especially in developing economies, including many Commonwealth nations. While every country is affected by malnutrition, lower income counties, such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Kenya and Nigeria, are more at risk.

    With two billion people around the globe not consuming enough vitamins and minerals, restricting the potential for healthy growth, nutrient rich crops are being used to improve nutrition and public health. Enriched grains now reach over 60 million people across 60 countries4, but it is hoped that a billion people around the world will benefit from enriched crops by 20305.

    Zinc is an essential micronutrient and has several health benefits, including aiding metabolism, digestion and nerve function, and playing a crucial role in cell growth, brain development, and fighting dangerous infections. It’s a particularly important micronutrient for children as it will help them to reach a healthy height and weight.

    PAS 233 considers increasing the natural content of nutrients in a crop through selective breeding, as opposed to adding these nutrients after milling. Selective breeding has been used by farmers and agronomists for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

    To support procurement and trade of these enriched grains, and increase take-up, specific guidance was needed differentiating the zinc content of enriched crops versus standard crops. PAS 233 addresses this need by specifying the requirements for zinc enriched wheat, maize and rice grain intended as food for human consumption. It includes requirements for class levels of zinc concentration, sampling guidance, packaging and labelling.

    The technical authors from HarvestPlus and a steering group of international experts in government, plant and crop sciences, grain procurement and academics were involved in the development of PAS 233. The PAS was sponsored by the Commercialization of Biofortified Crops (CBC) Programme, which is a partnership between the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and HarvestPlus, with funding from Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Development of the standard was facilitated by BSI.

    Find out more about PAS 233 and download your free copy.






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