In order to improve the calcium status, fortified rice should have acceptable organoleptic properties of that food.
We aimed to assess whether home fortification of rice with slaked lime can increase calcium content of the rice and whether this fortified rice is well tolerated in a nutritionally at-risk population.
This experimental study measured the calcium content of rice cooked with different concentration of lime and assessed the acceptability of fortified rice among 400 women and children. Each participant received fortified rice with one of five concentrations of lime (0, 2.5, 5, 7.5 or 10 gm per 500 gm of rice), with or without additional foods (lentil soup or fried green papaya). All participants were asked to score the organoleptic qualities in hedonic scale.
Analysis showed, rice calcium content increased in dose response manner with increased lime amount during cooking (76.03, 205.58, 427.55, 614.29 and 811.23 mg/kg for given lime concentrations). Acceptability of meal was greater when additional foods were served with rice at all lime concentrations. In both groups, 7.5M arm reported highest overall acceptability (children, 6.25; women 6.10). This study found significant association between overall acceptability (different concentrations of lime mixed rice; with/without additional foods) and between groups (women vs. children) (p value = < 0.001) where as no association was found within groups.
Lime-fortified-rice can be feasible considering the calcium uptake of rice and organoleptic character. Further research on bioavailability can establish a solid foundation which will support designing of an effective intervention to reduce calcium deficiency in this population.