Agriculture Research: Diabetic-Friendly Rice Developed at Agriculture University.
Coimbatore: A rice variety that would allow diabetics relish idlis and dosas, owing to low carbohydrate content have
developed by the scientist from the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU), Coimbatore.
By crossing the traditional black rice and white rice, this new rise was developed. It is also expected to delay the release
of glucose into the body so that the consumer's sugar does not shoot up.
TNAU scientists say the new rice variety, likely to be called 'Kovai Kavuni', when cooked correctly, tastes almost like white
rice and it also retains 80% of the original Kavuni rice's health benefits.
Head of the rice department at TNAU, P Jeya Prakash said, "We crossed the original kavuni rice with the popular and
widely consumed CO 50 variety of white rice way back in 2005. It took us almost nine years to keep crossing them to finally
arrive at a variety that had the properties we expected."
Across the state cultivation trials of the rice are currently under way. The traditional Kavuni rice is mainly used to make
sweet dishes and it is grown in small scale in the Karaikudi region, and gives a yield of hardly 800kg to 900kg per acre.
To see if it can be made commercially viable, TNAU began studying this rice in 2005. To make idlis and dosas, the rice is to
be cooked by taking equal quantities of the Kovai Kavuni rice and white rice and boiling it. They taste similar to the
normal white rice dishes, while they do still retain the brown colour.
"The crop duration is 135 to 140 days, it can be cultivated year round, requires regular irrigation and does not get
dislodged easily," Robin said. "The yield is also 2,000kg per acre which is close to average white rice yield which is
around 2,400kg per acre," he said.