Fortified rice has the potential to improve the micronutrients status of vulnerable populations. However, fortified rice has to have acceptable organoleptic--the sensory properties of a particular food--qualities. Few data exist on the acceptability of fortified rice in Asia. To assess the acceptability of two types of fortified rice (cold and hot extruded) in Vietnam and Cambodia, triangle tests were conducted in Vietnam (53 women) and Cambodia (258 adults), testing fortified rice against conventional rice, with participants being asked to score the organoleptic qualities. In addition, Cambodian schoolchildren (n = 1700) were given conventional rice and two types of fortified rice for two week periods as part of a World Food Program school meal program, with intake monitored. Fortified rice differed significantly in organoleptic qualities from conventional rice, with most subjects correctly identifying fortified rice (P < 0.001). However, fortified rice was found to be highly acceptable in both countries. In Cambodia, schoolchildren consuming fortified rice had higher intakes than when consuming conventional rice (176 g/child/day and 168 g/child/day, respectively; P < 0.05). This study shows that fortified rice is acceptable in two countries in Southeast Asia. However, specific information is needed to explain the organoleptic qualities of fortified rice as perceived by end-users.
New York Academy of Sciences. Annals, 2014, Vol 1324, p. 48-54