Home pageArticles - biotech and pharmacy'Super bananas' could be on sale by 2020

'Super bananas' could be on sale by 2020

Date: 5.1.2015 

The world's first human trial of 'super bananas' will start soon in the hope of providing a more nutritious source of food to Ugandans and East Africans.

The bananas will be enriched in pro-vitamin A, which the human body can break down into 'regular' vitamin A, to tackle the consequences of vitamin A deficiency in the regions.

And, if the trial is successful, it's hoped farmers could begin growing the enhanced food by 2020.

The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) project is being led by Professor James Dale and is backed with up to ?6 million ($10 million) from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

It is what is known as a biofortification project, which is the process of improving the nutritional value of crops by selective, or genetic engineering.

'Human trial is a significant milestone for this project, which started in 2005 and should see pro-vitamin A enriched banana varieties being grown by Ugandan farmers around 2020,' Professor Dale said...


...read more at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2660138/Super-bananas-sale-2020-Fruit-laced-vitamin-A-begins-humans-trials-tackle-deficiency-Africa.html


  • While the outside of the 'super bananas' will look just like any other banana, the inside will be different.
  • 'The banana flesh of a pro-vitamin A enriched banana is orange rather than the cream colour we are used to and in fact the greater the pro-vitamin A content the more orange the banana flesh becomes,' lead researcher Professor Dale said.
  • 'We are aiming to increase the level of pro-vitamin A to a minimum level of 20 micrograms per gram dry weight in order to significantly improve the health status of African banana consumers.'
  • Vitamin A is typically found in cheese, eggs and yoghurt. Deficiency of the vitamin is common in poorer countries where access to these foods is limited.
  • Poorer countries also have higher levels of disease, which can be a drain on a body's vitamin A reserves.
  • Symptoms include night blindness and the deficiency can make people more susceptible to other illnesses.





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