Addition material for this chapter

Chapter 2 - Human Nutrition (ppt)

This chapter discusses aspects of human nutrition in relation to the nutrients presented in Table 1.2 

In §2.1 a general introduction on human nutrition is given. This paragraph also describes the nutritional needs of humans. However, even if these needs are met based on absolute numbers of food content one could still suffer from malnutrition. This is because not all nutrients can be extracted from the food we eat as is discussed in §2.2 on bioavailability. If over a longer time period our body is not able to take up all essential nutrients or takes up too much, due to a poor diet, lack of bioavailability, or over-supplementation we speak of “Malnutrition”. This condition is discussed in §2.3. Regulating the nutritional value of crops can help to mitigate the effects of malnutrition. In §2.4 some strategies to help prevent and globally lower incidences of malnutrition are discussed. 

Note that when reading this chapter with a background in plant science, one has to realise that there are several differences in terminology between human nutrition and plant science, as is explained in Table 1.1 and Textbox 2.1.

Textbox 2.1: short explanation on how macro- and micronutrients are defined in human nutrition


The definition of phytochemical. (n.d.). Retrieved from