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ICAR-IIMR Transformed Millets into Healthy & Tasty Rice for Rice Lovers

The ICAR-IIMR has pioneered a revolutionary method for producing 'millet rice' that closely resembles traditional rice, providing health benefits without resorting to genetic modifications.

Shivangi Rai
The initial focus has been on creating 'millet rice' from kodo millets, a specific type of grain. (Image Courtesy- Canva)
The initial focus has been on creating 'millet rice' from kodo millets, a specific type of grain. (Image Courtesy- Canva)

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Millet Research (ICAR-IIMR) have devised an innovative method to cater to rice lovers who are reluctant to switch to millets due to their numerous health benefits. Through a process called reconstitution, millet powder is transformed into 'millet rice.'

According to B. Dayakar Rao, the CEO of Nutrihub, an organization established by IIMR to promote millet technologies, this technique not only entices rice enthusiasts to embrace millets but also enhances the nutritional content of millets by incorporating additives such as energy and fiber.

The initial focus has been on creating 'millet rice' from kodo millets, a specific type of grain. However, the process can be extended to produce rice from various other millets, marking a potential game-changer in dietary habits.

Despite the success of the method, there are concerns regarding shelf life, with the current duration being six months. Efforts are underway to extend this period further.

One significant advantage of this approach is the reduction in cooking time by approximately 20%, making it a convenient option for those accustomed to the quick preparation associated with rice.

During a session with women entrepreneurs from the FICCI Ladies Organisation visiting IIMR, Rao highlighted India's leading position as the largest global producer of millets, with 19% of the total millet cultivation area and 20% of global production.

Tara Satyavathi, the Director of ICAR-IIMR, emphasized the importance of transitioning from food security to nutrition security. She stressed that while the current focus is on calorie consumption, there is a need to shift towards more nutritious food options, with millets playing a crucial role in this paradigm shift.

Over the last five years, the firm has successfully incubated 400 millet start-ups, with an additional 100 currently undergoing incubation at its center in Rajendranagar. The efforts of ICAR-IIMR and Nutrihub reflect a broader initiative to promote the consumption of millets for improved nutrition and health benefits.

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