White rice sold in Hawaii, Guam, and Saipan often lacks nutrient enrichment

J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Oct;109(10):1738-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2009.07.008.


Rice is a commonly consumed food staple for many Asian and Pacific cultures thus, nutrient enrichment of rice has the potential to increase nutrient intakes for these populations. The objective of this study was to determine the levels of enrichment nutrients (ie, thiamin, niacin, iron, and folic acid) in white rice found in Guam, Saipan (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands), and Oahu (Hawaii). The proportion of white rice that was labeled "enriched" varied by type, bag size, and location. Most long-grain rice was labeled as enriched and most medium-grain rice was not. Bags of either type weighing >10 lb were seldom labeled as enriched in Hawaii or Saipan. Samples of various types of rice were collected on these three islands (n=19; 12 of which were labeled as enriched) and analyzed for their content of enrichment nutrients. Rice that was labeled as enriched in Hawaii and Guam seldom met the minimum enrichment standards for the United States. For comparison, three samples of enriched rice from California were also analyzed, and all met the enrichment standards. Food and nutrition professionals who are planning or evaluating diets of these Pacific island populations cannot assume that rice is enriched.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Folic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Folic Acid / analysis
  • Food Analysis
  • Food Labeling / standards*
  • Food, Fortified / analysis*
  • Food, Fortified / standards
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Humans
  • Iron, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Iron, Dietary / analysis
  • Micronesia
  • Niacin / administration & dosage
  • Niacin / analysis
  • Nutrition Policy*
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Oryza / chemistry*
  • Thiamine / administration & dosage
  • Thiamine / analysis


  • Iron, Dietary
  • Niacin
  • Folic Acid
  • Thiamine