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2-Plants: Thai researcher discovered iron-rich non-GE rice

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TITLE:  Study discovers iron-rich rice that can combat anaemia
SOURCE: The Nation, Thailand
DATE:   21 Jul 2004

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Study discovers iron-rich rice that can combat anaemia

The Department of Agriculture has discovered two strains of rice that can
accumulate iron and might be further developed to fight anaemia among the
poor. Dr Laddawal Kannanut, of the department's Rice Research Institute,
said the strains were Korkhor 23 and Khao Hom Phitsanulok 1. The C-7
academic said she had studied 45 strains of Thai rice to find which had
the best potential to accumulate iron as a way to fight iron-deficiency
among the poor. The study found that Korkhor 23 had iron at the rate of
36.67 parts per million (ppm) when milled with the unpolished technique.
The rate went down to 22.5ppm in polished rice. Unpolished Khao Hom
Phitsanulok 1 rice had iron at the rate of 25ppm, compared with 22.5ppm
in its polished rice. Laddawal said the study also found that rice grown
in different areas had different rates of iron accumulation. The
institute will continue its study to find better iron-accumulation
strains, she added, and employ genetic engineering to improve the
strains' ability to accumulate iron. The studies will also determine the
best growing and milling techniques to preserve iron in the rice.
Laddawal said 26 per cent of the population suffered from anaemia, and
high-iron rice could be a way to help them overcome the problem.


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