New ‘golden rice’ offers 3 micronutrients

  |   Tech News

A new version of genetically modified rice contains multiple micronutrients, rather than just one, overcoming a limitation of early modified rice plants. Almost 50 percent of people globally eat rice to meet their daily calorie needs. While a meal of rice stops hunger, it contains very few essential micro nutrients, if any.

In 2000, researchers developed a new rice variety to combat malnutrition, which became known as “Golden Rice.” This was one of the first genetically modified rice varieties in which the researchers could produce beta-carotene, the precursor of vitamin A, in the endosperm of the rice grain.

Researchers improved Golden Rice and it is now used in breeding programs in several countries, primarily in Southeast Asia. To address other micronutrient deficiencies, researchers also developed rice varieties with increased iron levels in the rice and wheat grains.

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