PhilRice develops healthier rice to help address vitamin A deficiency
PhilRice, in partnership with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), said it is currently developing healthier rice varieties like Golden Rice to address vitamin A deficiency (VAD) and provide nutritious rice for Filipinos.
Reynante Ordonio, Healthier Rice Project leader at PhilRice, said Golden Rice has potential in improving human nutrition.
“This new type of rice contains beta-carotene in its grain, which when ingested is converted to vitamin A depending on our body’s needs,” Ordonio said.
Golden Rice is developed through modern biotechnology as a complementary food-based intervention to help address VAD.
Citing the 8th National Nutrition Survey (NNS) of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), he noted that VAD remains a persistent public health issue in the Philippines.
“While current interventions such as proper feeding practices and supplementation have had real successes in improving the nutritional status of our population, millions continue to suffer from these preventable micronutrient deficiencies. Food-based approaches like Golden Rice can help improve nutrition for those who have limited access to diverse diets,” Ordonio said.
Golden Rice is now undergoing review for field trial and food, feed, and/or processing applications in the Philippines.