The development of rice that can produce slow and steady postprandial glucose in the bloodstream is a response to alarmingly high global rates of obesity and related chronic diseases. However, rice grain quality programs from all over the world currently do not have access to a high-throughput method to distinguish rice breeding materials that are digested slowly. The objective of this study was to develop a high-throughput in vitro assay to screen the digestibility of cooked white rice grains and to investigate its ability to differentiate rice genotypes with a low starch digestibility rate. The digestibility rate and extent of three commercial rice genotypes with diverse GI values (Doongara, Reiziq and Waxy) were successfully differentiated using the protocol. Further investigations with eight rice genotypes indicated the percentage of starch hydrolysed at a single time point of the assay (SH-60) successfully differentiated genotypes with a low digestibility rate (the SH-60 of Doongara and YRL127 was 50% and 59%, respectively) from genotypes with an intermediate or high digestibility rate (SH-60 values were between 64% and 93%). Application of this methodology in rice breeding programs may assist in the screening and development of new varieties with a desirable postprandial glycaemic response.
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