Philippine Standard Time

Development of low Glycemic Index rice continues to show promise at the 2022 NSTW

Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) experts shared the status of their research and development (R&D) on rice variety with a low Glycemic Index (GI) in a technology forum held in celebration of the 2022 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW).

This promising rice variety offers a healthier alternative to conventional rice. It has the potential to minimize the impact on blood sugar levels, providing individuals with a healthier option to enjoy rice. 

Glycemic Index (GI) is a rating system for the carbohydrate content of food indicating how quickly each food affects blood sugar levels when consumed independently.

Using gamma-irradiation and chemical mutagenesis techniques, several mutant rice populations were induced from the well-known rice variety Tubigan 14 (NSIC Rc160). Currently, these mutant lines have been identified as potentially low GI rice and are undergoing further crop improvement processes.

The study team also conducted a survey on customer perceptions of low-GI rice to assess its market potential. Results revealed that low-GI rice has potential market in highly urbanized cities where people in upper-income brackets have more disposable income and have a higher demand for healthier food options.

However, results also showed that specific respondents had limited knowledge about the concept of a low GI. This suggests that although there is a market for healthier products, the lack of awareness regarding low GI rice might affect its performance in the market. Thus, the project team intends to strengthen promotion and information campaigns to raise awareness on the benefits of low GI rice. 

Creation of low GI rice is an ongoing process that may encourage healthier rice consumption. PhilRice researchers continuously aim to improve the crop and make sure that the low GI rice varieties preserve outstanding eating attributes.