The Blog

Testing the performance of newly developed low phytic acid bean varieties in iron deficient Rwandese women

Project Completed

Beans have been shown to be a promising vehicle for iron biofortification and biofortified high-iron varieties have the potential to reduce the prevalence of iron deficiency in bean-consuming populations. Nevertheless iron bioavailability from beans is low and recent studies surmise that this is due to beans’ high phytic acid content as the binding of iron and phytic acid prevents an individual’s absorption of the iron. To address this issue, bean varieties that have very low amounts of phytic acid (about 1000µg/g bean) have been recently developed in an attempt to serve as a sustainable approach for increasing iron intake. To compare the absorption of low phytic acid beans with existing biofortified high-iron varieties, GroundWork has been tasked by HarvestPlus conduct a multiple meal stable-isotope study in iron-deficient women in Rwanda. GroundWork will implement this study in collaboration with the National University of Rwanda and ETH-Zurich.