Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences

Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-9600


Micronutrients Fortification of Rice by Parboiling: Lab Scale and Pilot Scale Studies

Nishaanthini Thiruselvam, Siaw Wei Cheong, Jagan Mohan, Janet Paterson and Jayashree Arcot

Deficiency diseases due to micronutrient insufficiency occur worldwide, especially in developing countries. Folic acid deficiency causes neural tube defects (NTD) and affects the central nervous system in 1:1000 births leading to anencephaly and spina bifida. Anaemia, a public health problem is caused by iron deficiency in 50% of the cases. Sub-clinical Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) causes morbidity and mortality, especially among young children and pregnant women. In young children, it can cause xerophthalmia and keratomalacia and lead to blindness or limited growth and weakening of the immune system, thereby increasing the risk of death. This study investigates the efficiency of using parboiling as a processing technique to fortify rice with folic acid, β-carotene and iron. Brown rice was parboiled by soaking with the micronutrients at the optimum conditions (70°C for 2 hours), steaming the soaked rice at 100°C for 1 hour and air drying until the moisture dropped to 10 ± 2% wb. Retention of these nutrients was assessed by analysis in the dried rice after milling (0 s, 60 s and 120 s) and in the cooked rice. The fortification was scaled up using 2.5 kg rice by parboiling with the highest concentration of the micronutrient mixture. The experimental process was compared with the conventional parboiling process for which the retention of the micronutrients was analysed. Retention of the nutrients in rice reduced during milling and cooking decreased by 10-15% (folic acid); 2-8% (β-carotene) and 4-5% (iron). Fortification of rice using parboiling is feasible. The laboratory scale method correlated well with the pilot scale.