Team:Paris Bettencourt


Food fermentation is practiced by every culture in the world. It is especially widespread throughout the Indian subcontinent. Although fermentation enriches foods with some essential vitamins and amino acids, many regions of the subcontinent still suffer from high malnutrition. We are addressing this problem by engineering S. cerevisiae and lactobacilli, commonly found in Indian fermented rice dishes, to enrich foods with vitamins A, B2, and B12, and bioavailable iron. We also implemented a differentiation system for reducing the fitness cost of over-expression of multiple pathways, and an easy E. coli sensor for measuring vitamin concentration using a riboswitch. Our user-centered approach incorporates a low-cost and open hardware framework, both for growing and distributing starter cultures, and for quality control.

This will give the local affected populations power over their own food, as opposed to other GMO nutritional enrichment strategies, by allowing them to grow their own source of vitamins.