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General Information

Document type
  • Peer-reviewed journal article
GE organism
  • rice
  • tomato
  • Arabidopsis
GE trait
  • quality
  • Belgium, UK, USA, The Netherlands


  • positive effect
  • mixed

Folate biofortification in food plants Review Article

Bekaert, S; Storozhenko, S; Mehrshahi, P; Bennett, MJ; Lambert, W; Gregory, JF 3rd; Schubert, K; Hugenholtz, J; Van Der Straeten, D; Hanson, AD
Trends in Plant Science. 2008 January. 13(1):28-35

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PMID: 18083061 DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2007.11.001 ISSN: 1360-1385


Folate deficiency is a global health problem affecting many people in the developing and developed world. Current interventions (industrial food fortification and supplementation by folic acid pills) are effective if they can be used but might not be possible in less developed countries. Recent advances demonstrate that folate biofortification of food crops is now a feasible complementary strategy to fight folate deficiency worldwide. The genes and enzymes of folate synthesis are sufficiently understood to enable metabolic engineering of the pathway, and results from pilot engineering studies in plants (and bacteria) are encouraging. Here, we review the current status of investigations in the field of folate enhancement on the eve of a new era in food fortification.


biofortification; folate; metabolic engineering


Funding source
  • Ghent University
  • Home Grown Cereals Association
  • National Science Foundation
  • C.V. Griffin Sr Foundation
Funding country
  • Belgium
  • UK
  • United States
Funding type
  • NGO: independent
  • government

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Cite this study


Bekaert, S, S Storozhenko, P Mehrshahi, MJ Bennett, W Lambert, JF 3rd Gregory, K Schubert, J Hugenholtz, D Van Der Straeten, AD Hanson. "Folate biofortification in food plants." Trends in Plant Science 13.1 (2008): 28-35. Web. 3 Dec. 2023.


Bekaert, S., Storozhenko, S., Mehrshahi, P., Bennett, MJ., Lambert, W., Gregory, JF 3rd., Schubert, K., Hugenholtz, J., Van Der Straeten, D., & Hanson, AD. (2008). Folate biofortification in food plants. Trends in Plant Science, 13(1), 28-35. doi:10.1016/j.tplants.2007.11.001

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