Soils, Food and Healthy Communities

Soils, Food and Healthy Communities

Orange maize

In collaboration with scientists at the University of Manitoba, lead by Dr. Trust Beta, and with Chancellor College, we have published a new paper in the scientific journal Food Chemistry that shows evidence of the high value of local, open-pollinated orange maize as a source of vitamin A. Known locally as mtinkinya, the local orange maize used to be eaten as a porridge, but had declined in use. We collected 26 samples of white maize and 35 samples of local orange maize samples from farmers in central Malawi in 2014. The average amount of beta-carotene, for example, was 40 times higher in local orange maize than white maize samples. Based on the analysis, 100 grams of local orange maize samples were estimated to provide between 8 – 17% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A for an adult man. These results provide important support for our approach, which supports diverse cropping systems, agrobiodiversity and local indigenous knowledge. Details on the paper will be listed under our research results.

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