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Why rice fortification?

From:    Author:    Publish time:2014-07-11 10:09    Clicks:144

        Rice is a rich source of macro and micronutrients in its unmilled form. During rice milling the fat and micronutrient-rich bran layers are removed to produce the commonly consumed starch-rich white rice. White rice is the number one staple food in the rice countries of southeast and northeast Asia, one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Of the world’s rice production, 90% is grown and consumed in Asia. On average, 30% of calories come from rice and this can increase to more than 70% in some low-income countries. In most languages of these regions, the words for rice and food are synonymous. It should be noted that rice is also an important staple food in several African countries and the Americas. Rice is therefore a potentially excellent product for delivering micronutrients to a very large number of people and has the potential to significantly alleviate micronutrient deficiencies. However, this will only achieve the desired result as long as the sensory characteristics of the end product are not discernibly changed and people do not object to incorporating fortified rice into their daily diet. In addition, using rice to deliver micronutrients will work only as long as fortified rice is economically accessible to people at the bottom of the income pyramid. Unpolished rice is a rich source of vitamins B1, B6, E, and niacin. During polishing, the majority (75–90%) of these vitamins are removed. Only when parboiled does more than 50% of the water-soluble vitamin levels of brown rice remain, and this is due to their migration from the outer layers to the endosperm.

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