By Holly McKee, published on 16th February 2017
BioAnalyt partnered with DSM to develop a simple method for testing fortified rice
As a staple food for more than 3 billion people, rice provides a good source of energy but is sadly lacking in micronutrients. Due to its ubiquitous consumption, particularly across Asia and increasingly West Africa, rice offers an excellent vehicle for delivering essential vitamins and minerals through fortification—a proven and cost-effective intervention to reduce micronutrient deficiencies. The recommended micronutrients to add to rice are iron, zinc, and vitamins A, B1, B3, B6, B9 and B12. The effectiveness of rice fortification depends on a number of factors: fortified rice production technology (i.e. extrusion vs. coating), quality of vitamins and minerals used, storage and cooking conditions, as well as proper monitoring of the industry.
To facilitate the implementation of rice fortification, DSM partnered with us to create a rapid method for testing vitamin A—one of the most sensitive micronutrients in fortified rice. A new sample preparation was developed to use in conjunction with a portable photometer iCheck Fluoro. The method requires only basic lab equipment and thus can enable efficient quality control throughout the production, distribution and monitoring of fortified rice.