TEMPO.CO, Purwokerto - Researchers at Universitas Jendral Soedirman (Unsoed) Purwokerto are developing low-sugar rice plant variety. The rice plant is claimed to be beneficial for diabetic patients.
"We are cross-breeding local rice varieties which will produce new low-sugar varieties," said Suprayogi, one of Unsoed researchers yesterday. The local varieties to be hybridized are the rice from Cisokan and Ciherang and also Margasari and Ciherang. Cisokan and Margasari are chosen to be the parent varieties due to their low-level glycemic index, whereas the one from Ciherang was chosen for its high amylose content. Amylose will make the rice flakier after cooking, unlike the regular sticky low-sugar rice.
"It may need 5 to 8 more years," said Suprayogi, explaining that the research is now reaching the third stage or F3 generation. However, Suprayogi believes to be able to produce rice with sugar level below 55 and 20-24 amylose level.
Agus Riyanto, the other member of the research team, said Unsoed has also been developing high-protein rice. "High-protein rice will also decrease glucose level in blood," he said.