Hidden hunger is inherited micronutrient malnutrition in human diets which contains enough calories but does not have sufficient vitamins and minerals. A multi-tier pivoted strategy is required to overcome hidden hunger. One may look healthy but there are strong chances to fall sick and suffering from infections due to hidden hunger. Hidden hunger is especially more evident in the pandemic ages and the COVID-19 condition has even worsened the situation. The problem is causing a major disease burden in developing and underdeveloping countries.
Hidden Hunger an Abnormal Condition
It is an abnormal physical condition due to unbalanced and inadequate consumption of micronutrients. A large proportion of diet throughout the world lack the Fe and Zn which adversely affects human health and longevity and ultimately it is affecting national economies. This nutritional deficiency has to be addressed by some alternatives such as consumption of animal products in diets, mineral supplementation, and increasing the bioavailability of mineral elements in foods, “the biofortification”. It is important to know that there is a good difference between hidden hunger, hollow hunger, and false hunger.
Mineral Supplementation and Diet Diversification
However, mineral supplementation, dietary diversification, and food fortification is not successful technique at all the times. It is difficult to change the dietary habits of people for dietary modification and diversification due to socioeconomic conditions and cultural variations. However, biofortified foods can be easily used to combat hidden hunger on a sustainable basis. Therefore, a strong collaboration between researchers and international organizations is required to reduce the hidden hunger on a sustainable basis.
Fortification can be a sustainable approach for developing countries due to their well-established infrastructure and efficient delivery system. Whereas for the developing nations only biofortification is a viable approach because they do not have any aforementioned capacity for sustained investment. After the initiation of improvement strategies, they must be sustained on a long-term basis. Also Like: Brownian Motion in Chemistry
When diet is lacking more than one mineral element then biofortification strategies should be made to ensure the delivery of all those nutrients to the affected population. So agronomic biofortification along with breeding techniques is a useful strategy to enhance the uptake and bioavailability of mineral elements in edible plant parts. Biofortification is highly recommended than food fortification and supplementation as it offers a wide range of benefits.
Improving Minerals and Nutrients in Foods
Biofortification is the most economical and feasible approach to overcome hidden hunger. Micronutrient composition in edible plant parts can be enhanced through conventional and modern approaches. Increasing the bioavailable mineral contents in soil and developing efficient varieties for nutrients uptake is the most prominent work to successfully alleviate micronutrient malnutrition. Even after achieving the target of biofortification, there are several socio-political and socio-economical challenges to be addressed. Like This: How to Make High Quality Phosphorus Fertilizer DIY