Scientists have developed a new – and fortified – banana that can help prevent nutritional deficiencies and blindness in children. According to data, in a year about 300k children suffer blindness and another 650 to 700 thousand die as a result from Vitamin A deficiency around the world.
Usual sources of Vitamin A include foods like eggs, milk, liver, carrots, yellow or orange vegetables such as squash, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables. And while these foods are present in abundance in developed nations, a lot of countries around the world – especially the rural areas – do not have access to proper nutrition, let alone Vitamin A-rich foods.
However, after almost a decade of research and hard work put into a nourishing and Vitamin A-rich “golden banana”, Professor James Dale from the Queensland University of Technology and his team of PhD researchers and Ugandan farmers may finally have a solution to combat this issue.
The team went to Papua New Guinea and took a banana gene rich in a lot of the needed molecules and spliced it into the DNA of the native Ugandan bananas. The research has resulted in some positive outcomes and field trials are being carried out, wherein farmers in Uganda are successfully being able to grow the banana on Ugandan soil.
But why did the scientists specifically choose the banana? Well, in a lot of countries – Uganda, for instance – many people suffer from vitamin A deficiency because their primary food source is a cooking banana that’s extremely low in terms of pro-vitamin A, reports Foodbeast.
The vitamin-rich banana will be available to farmers for cultivating outside of research fields by 2021.
To find out more about these golden bananas, watch the video below.
Feature Image: Vimeo