Amino Acids for Nutrition Improvement

Fortifying wheat with lysine to promote healthy growth in children

200 million malnourished children worldwide

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.

Kagawa Nutrition University, Standard Tables of Food Composition in Japan, Fifth Revised and Enlarged Edition (2008)

To address malnutrition in children, the Ajinomoto Group is working with the United Nations University and other partners to fortify wheat with lysine in developing countries. Children who eat lysine-fortified wheat have shown significant improvements in growth as well as stronger immunity compared with children who eat non-fortified wheat.

Amino acids are helping to achieve global food security

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.

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