Reducing phytate content in legumes and millets using engineered baker's yeast


The Problem

Phytic acid (PA), is an antinutritional factor, present in many legumes, cereals, and grains, which inhibits the absorption of vital dietary minerals, calcium, iron, and zinc. PA's ability to chelate these minerals can result in very insoluble salts that are poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, which results in poor bioavailability (BV) resulting in various micronutrient deficiencies like anaemia, which manifests with symptoms like fatigue, weakness, shortage of breath and dizziness or even diabetes type 1 in extreme cases. More than half of the world populations are affected by micronutrient malnutrition and one third of the world’s population suffers from anemia and zinc deficiency, particularly in developing countries.

Phytic Acid Acts as an Anti-Nutritional Factor for:

Mg Ca Fe Zn
  • Used as an electrolyte
  • For structural support
  • An enzyme cofactor
  • Maintenance of bones
  • Helps in blood clotting
  • Muscle contraction
  • Normal heart rhythm
  • For carrying oxygen
  • Present in RBC
  • Supports muscle metabolism
  • Important for the immune system
  • Helps heal wounds
  • Helps in age-related diseases

Our Solution

Our team here at ICT Mumbai is inserting BioBricked plasmids containing the phytase gene into yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) cells. The yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) cells can be added to any type of bread which can help improve the quality and the nutritious value of the bread.

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