Saturday 21 September 2019

Irish academics develop way to solve problem of arsenic in rice

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Michael McHugh

Researchers have discovered a new way to make eating rice safer.

Contamination of rice with cancer-causing arsenic is a major problem in some parts of the world.

Academics at Queen's University Belfast have discovered they can reduce the presence of the chemical by modifying processing methods at traditional small-scale parboiling plants in Bangladesh.

The new method also increases the calcium content of rice, the experts said.

"There has long been a search for ways to remove arsenic from rice that is both low-tech and can be widely adapted," said Professor Andrew Meharg of the Institute for Global Food Security.

"Our findings show arsenic removal can be readily conducted using this post-harvest processing of rice."

People in Bangladesh eat about 500g of rice per person per day.

Arsenic can cause cancer and may enter rice from the soil of flooded fields.

Irish Independent

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