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The Journal of nutrition

Extruded rice grains fortified with zinc, iron, and vitamin A increase zinc status of Thai school children when incorporated into a school lunch program.


PMID 23303870

Abstract

Iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), and vitamin A (VA) deficiencies are common among children in developing countries and often occur in the same individual. Rice is widely consumed in the developing countries of Asia and the low phytate in polished rice makes it ideal for Zn and Fe fortification. Triple-fortified rice grains with Zn, Fe, and VA were produced using hot extrusion technology. The main objective of the present study was to determine the impact of triple-fortified extruded rice on Zn status in school children in Southern Thailand. Although serum zinc was the main outcome indicator, Fe and VA status were also assessed. School children with low serum zinc (n = 203) were randomized to receive either triple-fortified rice (n = 101) or natural control rice (n = 102) as a component of school lunch meals for 5 mo. Serum Zn, hemoglobin, serum ferritin, serum retinol, and C-reactive protein were measured at baseline and at the end of the study. After the intervention, serum Zn increased (P < 0.05) in both the fortification (11.3 ± 1.3 μmol/L) and control (10.6 ± 1.4 μmol/L) groups, most likely due to the proper implementation of the school lunch and school milk programs, with the increase greater in the group receiving the triple-fortified rice (P < 0.05). Because the children were not Fe or VA deficient at baseline, there was no change in Fe or VA status. We conclude that Zn fortification of extruded rice grains is efficacious and can be used to improve Zn status in school children.

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