Contacts: Benicio Chaves, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, firstname.lastname@example.org, +55.31.3899.2227; Amy Wales, PATH, email@example.com, +1.206.302.4689; Bruno Athayde Soares, Cia da Informação, firstname.lastname@example.org, +55.11.3074.3444; Camila Melim, Cia da Informação, email@example.com, +55.11.3074.3442
Seattle, USA, and Viçosa, MG, Brazil, November 14, 2011—PATH has formed an innovative partnership with the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV) in Minas Gerais to serve as a regional Technical Center of Excellence for rice fortification in Brazil and globally. The Center is part of the University’s Hunger Center, which is supported by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. The partnership represents a strategic approach to advancing economic development and improved food security for nutritionally vulnerable, rice-consuming populations across the globe. PATH’s director of the Ultra Rice® project, Dipika Matthias, will be speaking on the global issue of micronutrient malnutrition and innovative solutions, as the keynote speaker at the University’s First Annual Food Security and Poverty Reduction conference, November 16-18, 2011.
PATH and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) are working in partnership to strengthen rice fortification efforts in Brazil using PATH’s Ultra Rice fortification technology. The Ultra Rice technology is a cost-effective micronutrient delivery system that packs vitamins and minerals into rice-shaped “grains” made from rice flour, manufactured using pasta-extrusion equipment. When these fortified grains are blended with milled rice, typically at a 1:100 ratio, the resulting fortified rice is nearly identical to traditional rice in smell, taste, and texture. PATH and UFV have recently signed an agreement to provide UFV with a free license to the Ultra Rice technology, as well as ongoing technical support, in order to expand the field of rice fortification globally.
The Center will facilitate future transfers of PATH’s Ultra Rice technology to domestic and international food manufacturers, including those in Africa. UFV’s role in the region and beyond will be to meet the anticipated growth in demand for fortified rice by providing free licenses of the technology to qualified producers in exchange for product affordability to low-income populations, which tend to suffer disproportionately from the consequences of micronutrient malnutrition.
UFV will provide technical support to rice millers interested in fortifying their rice prior to distribution. The Center will provide training materials and tools for building quality assurance and validation systems to ensure a homogenous blend at rice milling and/or rice repackaging sites. UFV’s license from PATH will also allow the University to serve as a research and development center for rice fortification in Brazil, utilizing its significant expertise and resources in food technology to evolve and improve on PATH’s base technology.
About Federal University of Viçosa
The Federal University of Viçosa (UFV) founded in 1926 in Minas Gerais, Brazil, is known and respected in Brazil and abroad for its agrarian sciences programs and contributions in engineering, technology, humanities and basic sciences. Among Brazilian institutions, UFV has one of the highest indices of faculty members with graduate qualifications. The University prides itself on being ready to offer solutions that effectively help Brazil endure, with confidence and dignity, all adverse circumstances. For more information, please visit www.portalufv.ufv.br.
Ultra Rice is a registered trademark of Bon Dente International, Inc., in the United States.