According to the American Society of Agronomy, it's an unfortunate fact that many people in developing nations don't get enough protein in their diets. What they often do get a lot of, however, is rice. With that in mind, scientists have improved upon a type of rice that has over 50 percent more protein than regular varieties.
Two years ago, a Louisiana State University team led by Prof. Herry Utomo released a high-protein long-grain rice cultivar known as Frontière. It was developed via a traditional breeding process, and it has an average protein content of 10.6 percent – that's a 53-percent increase over the protein content of the conventional Cypress rice with which the team started.
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Additionally, it requires less heat, time and water to cook.
In order to address that shortcoming, Utomo and colleagues recently tested 20 newly-developed lines of high-protein rice
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This new line is now ready for final field testing. It is hoped that the harvested rice could serve not only as a basic food, but also as a source of protein-rich rice flour, rice milk, or other food ingredients.
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the original Frontière line is now being grown commercially in Illinois. Farmers reportedly don't incur any extra costs, or need to change their current rice-growing practices in any way.
"There are hundreds of millions of people around the world who depend on rice and eat it three times a day, but their access to protein is very limited by availability and cost," explains Herry Utomo, a professor at Louisiana State University. "High-protein rice can be used to help solve the worldwide problem across social, cultural, and economic issues."
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