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Efficacy of Biofortified Maize to Improve Maternal and Child Vitamin A Status


This HarvestPlus-funded study is the third in a series of randomized control trials being carried out in rural Zambia to test the impact of biofortified maize. It has enrolled 255 mother/infant pairs to a three-month intervention of: 1) conventional white maize, 2) provitamin A carotenoid biofortified orange maize, or 3) preformed vitamin A fortified white maize. Meals for both mothers and infants are delivered to households six days/week for three months. The trial protocol includes multiple vitamin A status measures at baseline (9 mo) and endline (~12 mo): maternal plasma and milk retinol, measured by high-performance liquid chromatography; maternal dark adaptation, measured using a portable field dark adaptometry; maternal and infant retinol binding protein, measured by ELISA; and infant total body vitamin A, measured using retinol isotope dilution. A substudy is nested within the trial to capture data on regular intake of fortified sugar intake and to determine the contribution of fortified sugar to dietary vitamin A intakes.

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