All You Need to Know About Fortified Rice Kernels (FRKs)

All You Need to Know About Fortified Rice Kernels (FRKs)- Fare Labs

Recently, the term FRK has taken the food industry across the globe by storm. You must wonder what exactly we are talking about when we say FRKs and how is it important for companies and the masses to know about it. Let’s dive in and clear the doubts once and for all.

Fortified rice kernels are an essential tool in the fight against malnutrition and related diseases, especially in developing countries. Fortified rice kernels are rice grains that have been enriched with essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and vitamin A, which are commonly deficient in many regions around the world. These micronutrients are crucial for healthy growth and development, particularly for children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers.

However, ensuring that the fortification of rice kernels is done correctly and that the rice grains are fortified at optimal levels is critical. That is where testing services come in. Testing services play a crucial role in ensuring that the fortified rice kernels meet the required standards and are safe for consumption.

The Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has laid down regulations for rice flour used in preparing FRKs, permissible levels of vitamins and minerals, packaging and labelling standards, and other disclaimers which need to be followed by manufacturers. FARE Labs is India’s leading laboratory providing top-notch testing services in this area.

Testing Procedure for Fortified Rice Kernels

There are several tests that a testing service provider may conduct to ensure that fortified rice kernels are meeting the required standards. Here are some of the most common tests:

Analysis of Micronutrient Content

The most critical test for fortified rice kernels is to determine the actual micronutrient content. This involves testing the rice for iron, zinc, vitamin A, and other essential micronutrients that are added during the fortification process. Testing is typically done using specialized equipment such as Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) or Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS).

  • Physical Characteristics

Physical characteristics such as the size, shape, and colour of the fortified rice kernels can also be tested. These tests can help ensure that the fortified rice kernels meet the required physical standards, which can affect the consumer’s perception of the product.

  • Sensory Evaluation

Sensory evaluation is another critical test that can help determine the quality of the fortified rice kernels. This test involves assessing the appearance, flavour, aroma, and texture of the rice grains. Sensory evaluation can be done by trained panellists who evaluate the rice grains based on specific criteria.

  • Shelf-Life Testing

Shelf-life testing involves determining the product’s stability over time, especially when stored under specific conditions. This testing ensures that the fortified rice kernels do not degrade over time and remain safe for consumption.

  • Microbiological Testing

Microbiological testing is essential for assessing the safety of the fortified rice kernels. This test involves analyzing the rice grains for microbial contaminants such as bacteria, yeast, and mould.

A testing service provider like FARE Labs can help ensure that the fortified rice kernels are safe for consumption and meet the required standards by conducting various tests such as analysis of micronutrient content, physical characteristics, sensory evaluation, shelf-life testing, and microbiological testing. By utilizing these testing services, manufacturers and distributors can ensure that their fortified rice kernels are of high quality, safe for consumption, and meet the required standards.

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