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Promote Rice Bran Oil consumption 17/01/2008

With the population in the country being increasingly prone to life style-induced diseases, including cardiovascular problems, efforts should be made to promote heart-friendly cooking oils such as rice bran oil, speakers at the 10th National Seminar on Rice Bran Oil said here on Saturday.

Though average life expectancy had increased, the country lagged behind developed nations in healthy food habits, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Mrs. Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan said. Research had proved the effectiveness of rice bran oil in reducing cholesterol. It contained three categories of natural and anti-oxidants as against one in conventional oils.

Efforts made by associations like the Solvent Extractors’ Association, which organized the conference, had helped to increase the acceptability of the oil in several households. As the largest producer of rice bran oil, India could emerge as a market leader in its production and consumption, she said.

Rice bran oil, a vegetable oil produced from the outer brown layer of rice, was rich in nutraceuticals like oryzanol and used as premium edible oil in China, Taiwan and Thailand. A.R. Sharma, President of the Association said, India had the potential to produce over 12 lakh tonnes of rice bran oil, but the consumption remained very low. The association was aimed at promoting the oil as ‘Heart Oil’ and creating awareness of its benefits.

As one of the leading exporters of rice bran oil, India should carry forward its brand equity, O.P. Goenka, Chairman of the Seminar, said.

A seven member Sri Lankan delegation, headed by Minister of Irrigation M.I. Anver Ismail, was also present.

The Hindu, Chennai dt. 01.07.07