To some of you the TV campaign for a rice called Arise must still be fresh in the mind. The company that promoted it was Marico and it claimed a 20% reduction in carbohydrates with this rice variety. The claim was based on just one study and a nutrient analysis. Nutritional claims have to be substantiated with data. It was not in this case. Marico said Arise has been studied in some of India’s premier institutes that confirm it is healthier than other white polished rice. When asked if it would not be simpler to reduce carbohydrates by draining starch water from the cooked rice. An official said in-home techniques will not consistently lead to desired benefits.
A lot of new age households might not be aware of such techniques as simple as draining the starch. Saffola Arise caters to such niche consumers driven the convenience and need for a healthier option was the company’s viewpoint.
The rice was from a plantation called Moolgiri grown in South India by Tajmahal Agro Industries and was sold under the brand name Arise. Nutritionists consider this inferior to unpolished brown rice also low GI food since
valuable nutrients are lost in the process of polishing. So what is the aggressive promo all about? It is just an upmarket product for beautiful people, said one official. Arise is by no means cheap: a kilo costs 69 as against Rs. 25-30 for regular white rice. The product was targeted at Indian consumers after export of non-basmati rice varieties was banned in 2008. So far the market for this rice has been limited to Rs. 2 lakhs alone.