Are you among the few who fully knows the millet’’s health benefits but cannot quit rice? Here’s a piece of good news. You can eat millets that look like rice -- wondering how that is possible? No, it is not a genetic modification of the millet germplasm.

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Millet Research (ICAR-IIMR) have developed a process and relevant technologies to make rice ‘millets’.

“It is reconstitution of millets. We make millet powder and convert that into ‘rice’. There are a lot of benefits to this. While roping in rice lovers to eat millets, this method helps in fortification of millets with add-ons like energy and fiber,”  B. Dayakar Rao, CEO of Nutrihub, which the IIMR set to promote millet technologies and transfer the same to entrepreneurs, told businessline.

“There are some issues with shelf life. At present, they can last for six months. We are trying to increase it further,” he said.

To start with, the institute has developed processes and technologies to make ‘millet rice’ from kodo millets.

“Though we have experimented with kodo millets, the same method can be applied to produce rice from other millets. This is going to be a game changer as this will help winning over the rice lovers,” he said.

Since millets are processed and converted into rice, the time-to-cook will come down by 20 per cent.

Meanwhile, interacting with women entrepreneurs of the FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO), who were on a field visit to IIMR here on Saturday, he said that India was the largest producer of millets in the world, with 19 per cent of the area under millets and 20 per cent of the global production. 

Nutrihub has incubated 400 millet-based startups in the last five years, with 100 currently being incubated at its centre at Rajendranagar.

“At present we are only eating calories. We need to eat more nutritious food. With millets, we are moving from food security to nutrition security,” said Tara Satyavathi, Director of ICAR-IIMR.