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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #235424

Title: The bioavailability of iron fortified in whole grain parboiled rice

item Glahn, Raymond

Submitted to: Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2008
Publication Date: 2/1/2009
Citation: Prom-U-Thai, C., Glahn, R.P., Cheng, Z., Fukai, S., Rerkasem, B., Huang, L. 2009. The bioavailability of iron fortified in whole grain parboiled rice. Food Chemistry. 112(4):982-986.

Interpretive Summary: Our lab has developed an in vitro digestion / Caco-2 cell culture technique which uses an epithelial tissue cell culture monolayer to imitate the intestinal lining and absorption of minerals into our bodies from different foods and food combinations. Food samples undergo a simulated digestion and are placed over Caco-2 cells, which act as a mimic of the intestinal lining. A new technique using parboiled rice has been developed that can add iron to the rice during the parboiling process. The parboiling process consists of soaking, steaming and drying paddy rice grains before milling and is a staple food in South Asian countries and Africa. Iron is added to the rice during the soaking stage and testing was done with the in vitro digestion / Caco-2 cell model to see if the parboiled rice would retain the iron during processing and if there was an increase in iron uptake detected by the Caco-2 cell model. The results show that the fortified parboiled rice increased the iron available for absorption. However more testing is needed to see what amount of iron to add is economically feasible, and if the rice would retain the Fe over time, and whether or not the treated rice would have off color or flavors.

Technical Abstract: The present study was to evaluate the bioavailability of iron (Fe) fortified in parboiled rice grain, expressed as Fe uptake by Caco-2 cells after in vitro digestion. The bioavailability of Fe-fortified in the rice grain was closely and positively correlated with increasing concentrations of Fe in the grains of the three cultivars (r = 0.96**). The uptakes of the Fe-fortified in parboiled rice milled for 120 s (34.2, 47.7 and 107 ng ferritin mg protein-1 in three cultivars, respectively) were well above those of the unfortified raw (6.1, 4.9 and 5.7 ng ferritin mg protein-1) or parboiled rice (4.7, 3.6 and 4.4 ng ferritin mg protein-1), the high Fe rice line IR68144-2B-3-2-2 (4.0 ng ferritin mg protein-1) and popular Jasmine rice cultivar KDML 105 (3.9 ng ferritin mg protein-1). Increasing milling time and rinsing the Fe-fortified parboiled rice decreased Fe bioavailability, due to their negative effects on total Fe concentrations in the parboiled rice grains, but uptakes were still well above that of their unfortified raw or parboiled rice grains. Rinsing or washing the Fe-fortified and milled rice grains decreased the bioavailability to 85 ng ferritin mg protein-1 in the YRF cultivar, compared to about 100 ng ferritin mg protein-1 in its non-rinsed grains. Dilute acid-extractable (DAE) Fe was linearly, positively correlated with the uptake of Fe assessed by the in vitro digestion/Caco-2 cell technique (r = 0.90**), which can be used as a rapid method for optimizing levels of bioavailable Fe to be fortified in the parboiled rice by parboiled-rice mills if this Fe-fortification technique should be adopted in south and southeast Asia.