A new low glycaemic index rice product has been launched to tap growing industry and consumer concern over galloping obesity rates.
Health Plus FoodStuff claimed that its Sorna Pearl Nutri Rice range can help in the management of glucose levels and weight control by providing sustained energy release.
With a low glycaemic Index rating of 44 and a low glycaemic response, the company said that the product should be beneficial for all age groups when consumed as part of a varied diet.
The glycaemic index measures how quickly certain foods release carbohydrates into the body, which then raise consumers' blood glucose levels. High GI foods cause blood sugar levels to rise more rapidly.
"We are very pleased to be able to bring this healthy alternative rice to the international market," said Health Plus Foodstuff chairman Abdol Qadir Memari.
"We have worked hard to develop a rice chock-full of nutrition without chemical or genetic modification."
The development of this ingredient follows growing pressure on the food industry to respond to the growing obesity problem. The World Health Organisation (WHO) for example has described obesity as one of the most blatantly visible yet most neglected public health problems.
The escalating global epidemic of overweight and obesity, it said, is taking over many parts of the world. It noted in a recent report that "if immediate action is not taken, millions will suffer from an array of serious health disorders."
The technical report of a joint WHO/FAO expert consultation also established that the broad parameters for a dialogue with the food industries are "less saturated fat; more fruits and vegetables; effective food labelling; and incentives for the marketing and production of healthier products."
Dubai-based Health Plus FoodStuff claims to have spent the last four years researching and developing its new rice product.
"It is imperative that the food industry take the welfare of the people as a prime consideration, and support government initiatives to monitor and decrease the incidence of obesity and diabetes in the world," said Health Plus Foodstuff managing partner Fareed Lutfi.
"The rest is up to the production, distribution and catering sectors to support our efforts and react responsibly as well."
Lufti went on to state that the company 's health claims are supported by independent research. "Sorna Pearl Nutri Rice increases in volume up to 5.5 times versus the 3 times of normal rice, making it more economical as well," he said.
Sorna Pearl Nutri Rice is manufactured in the company's production facilities in India.