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Scientists Develop Rice with High Folate Stability

Researchers from Ghent University in the Netherlands succeed in stabilizing folates in biofortified rice, which can offer a solution to serious health problems caused by folate deficiency in developing countries.
They were able to stabilize this high folate content in a new rice prototype. They applied two strategies. A first strategy comprised the binding of folates with a folate binding protein. This protein is unknown in plants, but well studied in mammals. It occurs in milk and protects folate from degradation. This is also the way intact folates are passed on from the mother to her infant, to support its development. By expressing a synthetic gene, based on a folate binding protein from bovine milk, in the rice grain, the same principle is applied and folate content remains stable upon long term storage.
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