Golden Rice’s true colours shine through at the Gates Foundation

From the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation webpage: a page with truly hopeful sparkle


Golden Rice

The Need
Rice is the staple food crop for more than half of the world’s population, and is especially important in Asia. While it is ample in calories, it lacks vitamin A, which plays an important role in maintaining good health. Because millions of people in the developing world don’t have access to a variety of nutritious foods, millions are at risk of vitamin A deficiency. Enriching rice with vitamin A is one potential solution that can help end this chronic health condition.

The Project

The foundation is supporting the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and partners to develop Golden Rice, a type of rice that contains beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. This grant builds on previous foundation funding, and supports a range of activities to develop Golden Rice varieties that are suited for the Philippines and Bangladesh. It is hoped that Golden Rice will help improve the health of millions of children and adults across the Philippines and Bangladesh.

The Partners

Read more about Golden Rice.

David Tribe

Written by David Tribe

David Tribe’s research career in academia and industry has covered molecular genetics, biochemistry, microbial evolution and biotechnology. He has over 60 publications and patents. Dr. Tribe's recent activities focus on agricultural policy and food risk management. He teaches graduate programs in food science and risk management as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Agriculture and Food Systems, University of Melbourne.

5 comments

  1. looking at the two bowls of rice, with different colors, it’s easy to spot which one looks tastiest.
    According to plans, US producers of Golden Rice will have to pay a royalty for Golden Rice, as opposed to farmers in developing nations, who will get it for free.
    I personally would not mind a bit to pay a premium for Golden Rice. It’s bound to look better on a plate than the regular white stuff. And who knows? It might be the totally ultimate flavor in a pilaf.

  2. Building on what Eric said, it is interesting that some folks say that people will be unwilling to eat rice that looks orange since they are used to eating white rice. However, so many cultures have dishes that turn white rice into bright orange or yellow rice in the process of cooking, such as Paella, Mexican Rice, Biryani and Pulao, (any rice with Turmeric) and various American Casseroles. The aptly-named Golden color, like the orange equivalent in maize bred for Africa, will seem new and different and perhaps even more appealing for its color. I wonder, though, if there is a detectable taste difference. Who’s up for some blind tasting?

  3. Tumeric, is that what turns rice that color? My local Chinese restaurant’s fried rice looks just like that bowl of Golden Rice. I’ve been wondering how to replicate that (and their kick butt General Tso’s sauce) for years.

  4. I’ve made a bunch of rice (and other) Indian dishes that call for turmeric and it turns them bright yellow. The chinese fried rice you’ve been eating might be due to it as well. If anything, golden rice might make it harder to know how much turmeric you have added to your dish!

  5. Tumeric is the most common, but saffron is also used to add yellow color to rice, along with a wonderful, subtle flavor.

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