High-quality rice flour to tackle food poverty

Washington, June 30 (IANS) A new, high-quality rice flour could help alleviate global food poverty, a study shows.

By studying and modifying proteins in the rice flour family, the researchers were able to produce dough and bread of superior quality than that obtained from ‘normal’ rice flour.

“This rice flour serves not only as an alternative to wheat flour for those with wheat intolerance, but could also help to overcome the global food problem in the future”, said Yayoi Onda from Yamagata University, Japan.

This study presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Experimental Biology (SEB) shows that rice flour does not typically work as efficiently in bread making as wheat flour.

In order to overcome this problem, the researchers changed the amount, structures and properties of seed storage proteins.

Rice flour deficient in a particular protein called PDIL1; 1 active during seed development produced dough with a network-like structure through the formation of disulphide bonds.

This improved the quality and efficiency of the dough and the bread.

The new rice flour overcomes many of the issues associated with previous rice flour.

Researchers have already started breeding experiments so that PDIL1; 1-deficient rice plants can be grown widely under different climatic conditions.

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