Project launch: First standard to increase zinc content in human food

BSI, in its role as a Standards Development Organization, announces a new project to create the first specification for increased zinc content in wheat, maize and rice grain for food for human consumption.


This PAS specifies requirements for zinc enriched maize (Zea mays), rice (Oryza sativa) and wheat (Triticum) intended as food for human consumption. It includes requirements for:

a) Levels of zinc for different grades of grain;

b) Sampling guidance; and

c) Labelling and packaging.

This PAS is applicable only to zinc nutrient-enriched grain produced from seed developed using conventional plant breeding processes and agronomic practices, such as zinc fertilization. It is not applicable to nutrient-enriched grain produced through modern biotechnologies such as genetic modification or post-harvest fortification.

This PAS is intended for all entities, regardless of size, producing and procuring zinc enriched maize, rice, and wheat grain for human consumption.

This PAS may be used by governments, private and public organizations, and various sectors of the food supply chain and its associated quality and compliance agencies.
NOTE: Examples of users of this PAS include but are not limited to food aid organizations, aggregators, traders, millers, primary food processors, seed producers, food manufactures, food retailers and food standards agencies.

The fast-tracked standard, called PAS 233 Cereal and cereal products. Increased zinc content wheat, maize and rice grain for food for human consumption, will provide an important tool for farmers and others using the grain in the food chain to demonstrate that this method and output of enrichment has met specified parameters and requirements. It is intended to help countries to recognize and produce grain to these specifications and to increase the uptake of the method. The end goal of the project to increase commercial trade of zinc enriched wheat and increase zinc intake for millions of vulnerable consumers.

The standard will be developed by a steering group of international experts in government, plant & crop sciences, grain procurement and academics. It is sponsored by HarvestPlus through the GAIN partnership which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Government of the Netherlands.