A new rice variety with a distinctive taste, texture and aroma has been developed and named and its maker will soon apply for intellectual property rights (IPR) and distribute it to farmers, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said on Sunday.
The new grain, Taichung No. 194, was devised by Hsu Chih-sheng (?t) at a COA research farm in central Taiwan after 13 years of genetic engineering and modification, said Chen Jung-wu (陳榮五), director of the Taichung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station.
Hsu began his research in 1996, crossing Taigeng No. 9, a locally developed strain, with Indian basmati to produce a new strain named Zhonggengyu No. 10368.
Zhonggengyu No. 10368 had an aroma of purple yam, similar to that of Tainong No. 71, another locally modified variety that is very popular in Taiwan for its unique aroma.
The taste and texture of Zhonggengyu No. 10368, but was not as good as that of Taigeng No. 9 or other higher-priced varieties.
To achieve rice with both the aroma of yam and a chewy texture, Taiwanese often mix Taigeng No. 9 and Tainong No. 71.
Starting in 2001, Hsu tried to cross-breed Taigeng No. 9 and Zhonggengyu No. 10368 and after numerous failures, succeeded late last year in producing Taichung No. 194, a grain that is as chewy and tender as Taigeng No. 9 but has a yam aroma like that of the high-priced basmati rice.
“Taichung No. 194 will save housewives from having to mix two types of rice,” Chen said.
The developer of the new rice will apply for IPR and patent rights with the COA shortly and will distribute seed to rice farmers nationwide, he said.