Rare and neglected rice landraces as a source of fatty acids for undernourished infants

Article Type

Research Article

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Current Science


This study deals with the quantitative assessment of nutritionally important fatty acids (FAs) in 94 indige-nous rice (Oryza sativa ssp. indica) landraces of India which are critically endangered, being cultivat-ed only by a handful of marginal farmers. Three mod-ern high-yielding varieties and one local high-yielding farmers’ variety were analysed for comparative as-sessment. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of FAs based on gas chromatography-mass spectrometric analysis of these varieties revealed their significant contribution to daily diet. Two ‘case studies’ were considered on the basis of individual FAs and nutri-tionally correlated FA parameters of the rice cultivars to isolate the most promising landraces, by clustering through linear discriminant function. These folk rice landraces may add important precursors to essential FAs in the staple diet and can provide for FA requirement in normal brain development in infants. We suggest incorporation of these landraces into India’s food and agriculture policy, both for conserving the vanishing landraces and for ensuring nutritional security of the economically marginalized people.

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Open Access, Bronze

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