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Indian Express
05 June 2010
By Vijay Pratap Singh
Allahabad, India

To ensure that the rice retains its taste, the department will have to maintain a balance between carbohydrate, zinc and iron without disturbing the other nutritional components like energy, protein, calcium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin E
There is some good news for diabetics who are forced to avoid rice on account of the illness.

At the Banaras Hindu University, a team of researchers is working to develop a variety of rice containing minerals that will help control diabetes.

The strain –a long grained variety –has been developed in the laboratory by the Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding.

Field plantation of the saplings will be done in September and the produce would be available for testing in December, said officials of the department.

Later, the department plans to cross this variety with high–yield varieties of rice. “Generally, we eat polished rice,” said Professor RP Singh of the Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding. But the process of polishing removes the zinc and iron present in rice. These two nutrients are very effective in controlling diabetes.

They are micronutrients that act like coenzymes. Usually in diabetes patients, deficiency of zinc causes less production of en zymes that metabolise sugar. “We have injected iron and zinc in the endrosperm of the hybrid seed,” said Singh.

To ensure that the rice retains its taste, the department will have to maintain a balance between carbohydrate, zinc and iron without disturbing the other nutritional components like energy, protein, calcium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin E and other nutrients.

“We hope to launch this variety of rice by the end of next year,” said Singh. The prospect of this rice is very bright as rice is the staple food for over two billion people in the world, he said.

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