Across the globe over 800 million people suffer from chronic malnourishment, including an estimated 200 million children who are protein and energy deficient. Malnourishment is particularly severe in underdeveloped areas of Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. The situation will only become more dire if the global population keeps growing.
Grains are a staple food in many countries and an important source of carbohydrates and protein for energy. However, diets that depend on wheat and other grains for most of their protein are lacking in certain essential amino acids such as lysine, and this prevents the body from fully utilizing the nutrients in protein. This is because the body’s use of protein is limited by the least-present amino acid. Protein deficiency can lead to conditions such as stunted growth, lowered immunity, and lethargy. It is especially problematic for growing children.
Nutrition and health improvement are major issues in developing countries. By fortifying wheat with amino acids many more nutrients and proteins can be absorbed from the same amount of wheat. Fortifying with amino acids is one way to achieve food security and ensure that available grain resources are used as effectively as possible.