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Crop of Iron: Researchers develop new wheat strain

New wheat strain to tackle iron deficiency Credit: PA Images

A new strain of wheat pumped full of iron has been created by bio-engineers at the Norwich John Innes Centre plant science institute.

The genetically modified cereal produces a white flour containing twice the normal amount of the mineral.

Scientists believe the levels, significantly higher than those in any commercially grown variety of wheat, could help alleviate iron deficiency around the world.

Dr Janneke Balk, from the centre said:

"This breakthrough means that higher levels of iron from the wheat itself could replace added iron in everyday items such as white flour and breakfast cereals, helping the estimated one billion people that suffer from iron deficiency worldwide."

– Dr Janneke Balk