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Unique rice will make minerals more available

A NEW RICE developed by ARS scientists in Arkansas and Idaho boasts a nutritional plus. It contains a significantly lower amount of a compound called phytic acid. An indigestible form of phosphorus, phytic acid binds to such minerals as iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. The result: These minerals become less available for our bodies to take up and use.

In cooperation with the University of Arkansas, ARS researchers have now made the breeding line, called KBNT lpa1-1, available to breeders and researchers. The rice is known as a breeding line because it's intended for plant breeders to develop further.

A first of its kind, the rice was developed using an approach that an ARS scientist in Idaho invented and patented. The innovative technology has already been used successfully to breed low-phytic-acid corn, soybeans, and barley.

KBNT lpa1-1 might be especially beneficial to people in countries where rice is a staple and mineral deficiencies are a concern.

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