Biotechnology Impact on Food and Nutrition in Developing Countries

Biotechnology Impact on Food and Nutrition in Developing Countries

In the development of an increasingly rapid era like today, food is no longer just a means to satisfy Our hunger. Due to biotechnology impact, food has became a lifestyle, We can see everywhere on the internet to major media that food is almost as famous as designer clothes. A content, from YouTube to Tiktok many content creators and influencers use food as their content. From how to cook it, how to prep it, you name it, food content has it. Cross-culture communicative tool, this one have to do with how fast the internet affects our social life, Now we can learn different culture from other countries just by seeing how the food is present on the internet. From creamy Italian pasta to delicious spicy and savory Asian noodles. The culture is written all over the ingredients, the prep, and the food itself.

Biotechnology Impact

But, how about a scientific application to food? can it be done? Yes, it can. With the advanced technology and knowledge that humans possed today, it can be easily done. One of the front and center science that can be used to alter nutrient and mass food production is Biotechnology. Biotechnology assures to bring major changes in the plant as well as livestock production.

Taken from The Journal Of Nutrition Volume 133, issue 11 (2003) :

Biotechnology offers important opportunities to developing countries in four domains. First, many agronomically hostile or degraded environments require major scientific breakthroughs to become productive agricultural systems. Second, biofortification offers the promise of greater quantities and human availabilities of micronutrients from traditional staple foods, with obvious nutritional gains for poor consumers, especially their children. Third, many high-yielding agricultural systems are approaching their agronomic potential. Finally, many cropping systems use large quantities of chemical inputs, such as herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers that can be unhealthy for people and soils alike. Biotechnology offers the potential to reduce the need for these inputs in economically and environmentally sustainable ways. Applying these new technologies to society’s basic foods raises obvious concerns for both human and ecological health.

Biotechnology in Animal Production

According to Dr. Gerd Junne a professor of International Relations at the University of Amsterdam, and editor of the Biotechnology and Development Monitor. He divides into two fields that can be applied with biotechnology: Animal Production and Plant Production. Biotechnology in Animal Production Include :

1. Reproduction, selection, and breeding: new biotechniques such as embryo transfers, in vitro fertilization, cloning, and sex determination of embryos have been developed for different types of livestock. This is of considerable interest for breeding programs in developing countries since importing frozen embryos can be less costly than importing live animals. 

2. The second field is Animal Health, Diagnostic tests based on the use of monoclonal antibodies and new vaccines against viral and bacterial diseases are also particularly relevant for developing countries. These methods can be used for the diagnosis, prevention, and control of animal diseases. 

3. Feeding and animal nutrition concentrates on improvements in the enzymatic treatment of feed. In developing countries, such techniques might eventually increase the potential range of crops used to feed larger herds of livestock. Like, the addition of inoculant to ensilaged fodder for better and faster conversion; and decreasing the anti-nutritional factors in certain plants. 

4. Growth and production, Experiments with hormones to improve milk and meat production In developing countries, however, specific needs for productivity increases can be an overriding consideration which may lead to earlier large-scale adoption of this technology than in many industrialized countries. This field represents the fourth area of biotechnology application.

Biotechnology in Plant Production

Application of biotechnology in Plant Production can be seen as below :

1. Provision of Seeds

Plant breeding has been enhanced considerably by in vitro development of improved varieties which are better adapted to a specific environment. The application of tissue culture has several advantages, including:

– the rapid reproduction and multiplication of cultivars; 
– the production of healthy cultivars, free of viruses and pathogenic agents;
– the rapid adaptation and selection of cultivars that are resistant to specific stress factors (for instance, salinity and acid soils);
– the availability of seed material throughout the year (rather than seeds which are subject to the seasonal cycle);
– the possibilities to produce species that are difficult to reproduce or that reproduce and grow slowly; and
– improved possibilities for the storage and transportation of germplasm.

Since the application of tissue culture does not require very expensive equipment, this technology can be applied easily in developing countries and can help to improve local varieties of food crops.

2. Reduced use of agrochemicals

Biotechnology can help reduce the need for agrochemicals which small farmers in developing countries often cannot afford. A reduction in the use of agrochemicals implies fewer residues in the final product. Until now, most research efforts regarding the genetic engineering of plants have been spent making crops resistant to important herbicides rather than increasing their resistance to pests. However, this latter objective is not a high priority for researchers in most developing countries.

3. Increased Production

Biotechnology can be used in many ways to achieve higher yields, genetic engineering will also help to increase production of the most valuable components of specific crops. For example by improving flowering capacity and increasing photosynthesis or the intake of nutritive elements.

4. Imported Harvesting

The cloning of plants can help to reduce the work necessary for harvesting. A reduction in the workload can also be very important for small farmers in developing countries.

5. Improved Storage

improved storage and better transport of food would increase the quantity of food available and improve the possibilities for a more elaborate division of labor between different districts and regions.

6. Food Processing

Biotechnology can be used for the upgrading of traditional food processing. Biotechnology can also help to eliminate toxic components, either by genetic engineering or through food processing. In addition to eliminating unwanted components, biotechnology can be used for the inexpensive production of additives that increase the nutritive value of the final product or that improve its flavor, texture, or appearance.

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