First Biofortification Hub Meeting

17th January 2024

The First Community Meeting for the Biofortification Hub was held at the end of November 2023. The meeting brought together academics, industry and other organisations working on or with an interest in biofortification, increasing the nutrition of crops food or animal feed.

86 delegates from the UK, USA and across Europe attended the meeting, which was held on the Norwich Research Park at the John Innes Centre, which co-coordinates the Biofortification Hub along with the Quadram Institute.

Over the course of the two-day meeting, 17 talks from internationally-recognised experts in biofortification covered hot topics in the field, highlighting and discussing the clinical and nutritional needs biofortification could address. Subjects covered the UK regulatory framework and the efforts from different countries around the world. Delegates got a broad overview of the current state of the art in biofortification as well as a an introduction to future developments on the horizon.

Three plenary talks from members of the Biofortification Hub International Advisory Panel: E. Boy (HarvestPlus, USA), D. Van Der Straeten (Ghent University) and T. Fitzpatrick (Unige – Université de Genève) were well received.

Five projects funded by the Biofortification Hub in 2023 were presented at the meeting, providing the hub community with an early look at how they have been able to take advantage of the opportunities the Biofortification Hub provides

A feature of the meeting was to highlight success stories in biofortification, with speakers describing projects delivering biofortified plants, eggs, algae and meat. Emphasising the translational impact of biofortification, delegates were treated to samples of biofortified foods already commercialised; including a presentation and tasting of biofortified SmarterNaturally soup by L. Knight  from The Smarter Food Company, a spinout from the Quadram Institute, and a presentation and tasting of a loaf of biofortified bread (SuperLoaf) by L. Campbell from Modern Baker.

To help remove barriers to attending the conference and bring a wider range of attendees, four bursaries were provided to students and Early Career Researchers to attend the meeting, co-funded by the Biofortification Hub and through the generous support of our industrial partners, AAH Software, Agrifood X Limited & PepsiCo International Limited.