Taiwan develops soft rice for the elderly

Taiwanese researchers said Thursday they have developed a strain of rice that cooks particularly soft for elderly people to meet the needs of a rapidly greying society.

The new strain was developed by the Miaoli District Agricultural Research And Extension Station in central Taiwan after a decade-long process and was expected to hit the market next year, they said.

"We've developed the rice with the elderly consumers in mind to make the rice taste very soft and a little sweet. It also gives a stable yield and can be stored for a long time," said researcher Chang Su-jeing.

People aged 65 and over account for 10.7 percent of Taiwan's 23 million population, the latest census showed, above the 7.0 percent level at which a society is defined as "ageing" by the World Health Organization.

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