||Globally, an estimated 800 million people do not get enough food to eat and more than 2 billion
suffer from micronutrient deficiency, or “hidden hunger,” according to U.N. food agencies.
As staple foods, maize and wheat provide vital nutrients and health benefits, making up close
to two-thirds of the world’s food energy intake, and contributing 55 to 70 percent of the total
calories in the diets of people living in developing countries, according to the U.N. Food and
Scientists at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) are working to
ensure the ongoing production of high-yielding, disease-resistant varieties of maize and wheat
to improve both the quantity and nutritional quality of these crops.
These measures include biofortification, a process by which scientists combine conventional
plant breeding and lab work to improve the micronutrient content of maize and wheat. At
CIMMYT, this process is being used to boost pro-vitamin A and zinc levels in maize and iron and
zinc concentrations in wheat.
Boosting the micronutrient content of crops through biofortification can help tackle hidden
hunger, simultaneously improving human health and economic growth leading to improved
In order to shed light on the important role maize and wheat play in global nutrition, CIMMYT
celebrated the dietary value of these food staples throughout the month of June 2015. We asked
you to send in your favorite maize and wheat-based recipes to be compiled into this cookbook.