“Hidden Hunger”

Frem 203, Byblos campus. Najla Attieh 1301, Beirut campus.

The Department of Natural Sciences is holding a conference entitled “Food Chemistry and Analysis in Solving ‘Hidden Hunger’: Lessons from Pulse Biofortification” with guest speaker Dr. Pushparajah Thavarajah from the School of Food Systems, North Dakota State University.

This seminar will be held simultaneously on both campuses, via videoconference.

All are welcome to attend.


The Green Revolution solved food energy hunger for the majority of world populations. The revolutionary food systems found efficient ways to supply food energy, but there is still more to be done. Today, three billion people are suffering from micronutrient deficiencies—also called “hidden hunger.” This is the most serious impediment to socioeconomic development (FAO,
2011). Among micronutrients, iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) deficiencies are most prevalent. Could pulses (lentil and chickpea) prevent this malnutrition trend?
Recent results show pulses could be enriched with highly bioavailable micronutrients through biofortification efforts (Thavarajah et al., 2010, 2012). Pulses are high in protein, provide medium energy, and are a rich source of micronutrients. Pulses also provide significant agricultural benefits; because they are nitrogen fixers, and require little or no nitrogen fertilizer. Overall, the development of pulse-incorporated food systems could help combat hidden hunger while promoting sustainability. To this end, what is the role of food chemistry and analysis?
This seminar will present
1. An overview of pulse biofortification and bioavailability research with special attention to lentil (Lens culinaris L.)
2. How food chemistry and analysis was used in the Canadian/USA pulse biofortification efforts
3. Innovative approaches to solve food chemistry and analysis problems. These approaches come from university students in the USA, Canada, Uganda, Rwanda, and Sri Lanka.