Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
SummaryAntioxidants are protective molecules that neutralize reactive oxygen species and preventoxidative damage to cellular components such as membranes, proteins and nucleic acids,therefore reducing the rate of cell death and hence the effects of ageing and ageing-relateddiseases. The fortification of food with antioxidants represents an overlap between two diverseenvironments, namely fortification of staple foods with essential nutrients that happen to haveantioxidant properties (e.g. vitamins C and E) and the fortification of luxury foods with health-promoting but non-essential antioxidants such as flavonoids as part of the nutraceuticals/functional foods industry. Although processed foods can be artificially fortified with vitamins,minerals and nutraceuticals, a more sustainable approach is to introduce the traits for suchhealth-promoting compounds at source, an approach known as biofortification. Regardless ofthe target compound, the same challenges arise when considering the biofortification of plantswith antioxidants, that is the need to modulate endogenous metabolic pathways to increase theproduction of specific antioxidants without affecting plant growth and development andwithout collateral effects on other metabolic pathways. These challenges become even moreintricate as we move from the engineering of individual pathways to several pathwayssimultaneously. In this review, we consider the state of the art in antioxidant biofortification anddiscuss the challenges that remain to be overcome in the development of nutritionally complete
and health-promoting functional foods.