NutraCea discusses expansion into the Dominican Republic

Related tags Rice bran Nutrition

NutraCea is in discussions with high-level government officials and
rice mill owners in the Dominican Republic over joint ventures that
could see the rice-bran pioneer setting up operations in the
Caribbean country.

"We are committed to demonstrating the feasibility of our business model, which could feed millions of children and malnourished adults for pennies per serving a day and support [Dominican Republic president Fernandez's] mandate for innovative programs fostering economic growth and development of his country,"​ said NutraCea​ president Bradley Edson.

Edson was scheduled to make a presentation last Saturday at the Center for Export and Investment (CEI-RD) in San Domingo, in front of secretary of state and CEI-RD executive director Eddy Martinez Manzueta, secretary of public health and social assistance Dr Sabino Baez, CEI_RD's director of special projects Franklin Lithgow, and Wilvia Medina, minister counselor-commercial affairs at the Embassy of the Dominican Republic.

Sixty million metric tones of rice bran are thrown out by rice mills around the world each year or used as low-grade animal feed. The proprietary rice bran stabilization process to turn this by-product into a valuable source of nutrition was first developed by RiceX, mainly for the animal feed market.

NutraCea took the process a step further by developing the means to create food and nutrition products for human consumption from the rice bran it sourced from RiceX. In April this year Nutracea announced its acquisition of RiceX, creating a global monopoly on rice bran.

Partnership with rice mills around the world will not only help generate "revenues many times the construction costs during the effective life of the plants"​, as the company said earlier this year, but also help replicate a feeding program for children in Guatemala to malnourished populations on a worldwide basis.

The Guatemala program involves supplying 67,000 preschool children with a rice bran drink at a cost of $0.16 per child per day, with the product imported from the US. By equipping local plants with the technology to produce rice bran, the cost could be reduced to $0.05 per child per day.

When the nutrition levels of the Guatemalan children were studied, in just six months acute malnutrition had been eradicated in the 150 child-strong study group and chronic malnutrition was reduced to just five percent.

"We believe we will be able to end world hunger - or certainly make a huge impact on it,"​ senior VP Margie Adelman told

NutraCea controls 100 per cent of the human market and 50 percent of the combined human and animal markets for rice bran, which have a total value of $12 million.

Nutracea holds seven patents for the use of rice bran in nutritional foods to help alleviate the symptoms of certain conditions, including hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis, as a supportive therapy for diabetes, to help reduce cholesterol and, awarded just last week, for joint inflammation, pain and loss of mobility.

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