Genetic and agronomic zinc biofortification modify processing and nutritional quality of common wheat

Muhammad Ahsin, Imran Pasha, Marrium Liaquat, Mamoona Amir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objectives: The combined genetic and agronomic zinc (Zn) biofortification of wheat is effective in minimizing Zn deficiency-related issues, but its milling efficiency, baking quality, and effectiveness to improve animals' Zn status are unknown. We, therefore, studied Zincol-2016 (genetically Zn-biofortified wheat) Zn nutrition, suitability for milling, and rheological properties; both with and without soil Zn application.  

Findings: Higher test weight and extraction rate suggest that Zincol-2016 is better suited (p < .0001) for milling, however its significantly lower gluten content and water absorption shows poor suitability for baking. More dietary Zn supply and higher Zn levels in blood and tissues confirm improved (p < .001) Zn nutrition trait of Zincol-2016, and that's further enhanced (p < .001) by soil Zn application.  

Conclusion: Cultivation of Zincol-2016, on Zn-deficient soil, with Zn application for optimum grain yield can improve wheat Zn nutrition but not up to desired levels, however, higher rates may achieve adequate Zn levels. Low protein content may limit Zincol-2016 application in baking industry, thus protein traits must be focused in genetic biofortification.  

Significance and Novelty: Our research may help millers and bakers intending to meet Zn-biofortified products demand, and the breeders trying to replace standard cultivars.  
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-141
Number of pages11
JournalCereal Chemistry
Issue number1
Early online date16 Sep 2022
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2023


  • genetic biofortification
  • micronutrient bioavailability
  • milling quality
  • rheological properties
  • zinc-application for yield

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