Indigenously developed iron-fortified rice premix to address anaemia

Kolkata: An IIT Kharagpur team has developed the technology and machinery for the production of iron-fortified rice premix catering to India’s anaemic population.

IIT Kharagpur’s Food Chemistry & Technology Laboratory of the Agricultural & Food Engineering Department has developed a process technology for the production of ready-to-cook (RTC) iron-fortified rice (IFR) from broken rice kernels using extrusion technology.

The initiative was taken by H.N. Mishra and his research team, including Chandrakant Dalbhagat.

This engineered rice could be one of the concrete solutions for India’s anaemic population, they say.

“The iron-fortified rice premix is mixed with normal rice in the ratio of 1:100 and packaged. The premix has iron content of 600-800 mg per 100 grams. The nutritional, sensory and cooking characteristics of the developed iron-fortified rice are fully compatible with those of the normal rice,” the team said in a statement.

A pilot scale demonstration facility with a production capacity of producing 100 kg/day iron-fortified rice premix has been established at Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur with financial support from the Department of Biotechnology.

“The per kg cost of iron fortification is estimated at around Rs 0.65-0.75. The equipment is indigenously designed and fabricated, so the project fits well into the ‘Make in India’ concept. Patent has already been applied for producing rice from broken rice kernels using extrusion technology,” the team added.