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IRRI cues debut in 2025 of grains that dampen craving for rice

URBAN RICE FIELDS / JANUARY 17, 2024 A farmer inspects farm plots after planting rice for second cropping season at a 1,000 square meter rice field in Sitio Libis, Barangay Krus na Ligas in Quezon City on Wedensday, January 17, 2024. The farm lacks adequate irrigation system and farmers rely mostly on rain water. State weather bureau PAGASA said a “strong” El Nino phenomenon us currently in effect and will continue to be experienced until February this year. The El Nino may take place until May and transition to El Nino Southern Osciillation (ENSO)-neutral until June. INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

URBAN RICE FIELDS / JANUARY 17, 2024 A farmer inspects farm plots after planting rice for second cropping season at a 1,000 square meter rice field in Sitio Libis, Barangay Krus na Ligas in Quezon City on Wedensday, January 17, 2024. The farm lacks adequate irrigation system and farmers rely mostly on rain water. State weather bureau PAGASA said a “strong” El Nino phenomenon us currently in effect and will continue to be experienced until February this year. The El Nino may take place until May and transition to El Nino Southern Osciillation (ENSO)-neutral until June. INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE.

The Laguna-based International Rice Research Institute (Irri) has set a goal of introducing a variety of rice that is rich in protein by 2025.

“Hopefully by next year, it (an ultra-low glycemic index or GI, high protein rice variety) will be released to farmers. It will be released in the Philippines for the first time if ever,” Irri associate scientist Reuben James Buenafe said in a statement.Buenafe explained that this new variety will help in muscle growth as well as in the development of brain activity.

Despite having the same calorie component compared to the usual rice, the Irri noted the one they are developing is “more balanced.”

Protein is composed of building blocks called amino acids to help maintain and build body tissues and muscles. Some of the protein sources include eggs, nuts, lean meats, fish and dairy.Irri researcher Rhowell Jr. Tiozon said the consumption of ultra-low GI, high protein rice has beneficial nutrition values and would reduce the craving for rice, a staple Filipino food.

Feeling full

Excessive rice consumption often leads to high blood pressure and increases the risk for Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.“Actually, one of the reasons why we crave and eat as much rice is to cause spikes in blood sugar and in turn, the insulin level also rises. But if the food has low GI and high protein levels, the insulin level slows down and we will experience more of what we call satiety or the satisfied feeling of being full after eating,” he explained.

According to Irri, the multilocation trial for ultra-low GI, high protein rice variety already started in more than 10 provinces nationwide.

Tiozon said they expect that more rice farmers will cultivate this variety once the trials determine the target market. He also said the price of ultra-low GI, high protein rice is the same as the normal rice available in the markets.

Aside from that, he said the variety also has the same fertilizer requirement and planting conditions so “there should be no change of prices.”

In October last year, the Irri presented the first batch of ultra-low GI rice samples to President Marcos during the opening ceremony of the 6th International Rice Congress held in the country.

“Irri’s latest discovery offers the opportunity to develop rice varieties with low GI, and for the first time ever, ultra-low GI levels, to meet the health needs and dietary preferences of consumers,” said Nese Sreenivasulu, head of Irri’s Consumer-driven Grain Quality and Nutrition Research Unit. INQ

https://business.inquirer.net/452566/irri-cues-debut-in-2025-of-grains-that-dampen-craving-for-rice QR Code

Published Date: March 31, 2024

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