Fortified rice holds great potential for bringing essential micronutrients to a large part of the world population. However, it is unknown whether differences in cooking methods or in production of rice premix affect the final amount of micronutrient consumed. This paper presents a study that quantified the losses of five different micronutrients (vitamin A, iron, zinc, folic acid, and vitamin B12) in fortified rice that was produced using three different techniques (hot extrusion, cold extrusion, and coating) during cooking and five different cooking methods (absorption method with or without soaking, washing before cooking, cooking in excess water, and frying rice before cooking). Fortified rice premix from six different producers (two for each technique) was mixed with normal rice in a 1:100 ratio. Each sample was prepared in triplicate, using the five different cooking methods, and retention of iron, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B12, and folic acid was determined. It was found that the overall retention of iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and folic acid was between 75% and 100% and was unaffected by cooking method, while the retention of vitamin A was significantly affected by cooking method, with retention ranging from 0% (excess water) to 80% (soaking), depending on the cooking method and producer of the rice premix. No systematic differences between the different production methods were observed. We conclude that different cooking methods of rice as used in different regions of the world do not lead to a major loss of most micronutrients, with the exception of vitamin A. The factors involved in protecting vitamin A against losses during cooking need to be identified. All production techniques of rice premix yielded similar results, showing that coating is not inferior to extrusion techniques. Standard overages (50%) for vitamin B12 and folic acid are too high.
Keywords: cooking; folate; fortified rice; iron; premix; retention; vitamin A; vitamin B12; zinc.
© 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.