Why Is Golden Rice Pale Yellow in Color?


Quick Answer

Golden rice gets its pale yellow color from beta carotene, an organic compound that the human body converts into vitamin A. The genetically engineered rice contains genes from a soil microorganism and maize, which together produce beta carotene.

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Full Answer

The golden rice prototype is required to pass several tests before it can be approved, and as of May 2014, it is not yet available on the market. The inventors, Ingo Potrykus and Peter Beyer, intend to donate it to resource-poor farmers from developing countries. Other foods that get color from beta carotene include carrots, squash and papaya. However, there is no other known rice variety in the world that contains significant amounts of beta carotene.

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