Determination of Macronutrient and Micronutrient Content in Rice Grains Using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES)

Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1892)


The rice grain endosperm is mostly composed of starch, which serves as the major source of calories for more than half of the world’s population. Macro and micronutrients make a minor proportion of the rice grain, which particularly gets accumulated in outer aleurone layer, which are in general eliminated upon milling. Because rice is the major staple, it is seen as an efficient mechanism for delivering both macro- and micronutrients, particularly for the poor who do not have ample access to diversified diets. Enriching micronutrient and macronutrient concentrations in milled rice of endosperm and/or in brown rice, is an important dietary intervention to create health benefits of rice consumers. Efforts are underway to increase the nutritional content of rice through bio/fortification approaches. The plant takes up these same elements from the soil, redirect the transport of these elements into the grain. Thus besides biofortification strategies, scientists can also use the knowledge to design proper soil nutrient management to enrich micronutrients in the grains. Therefore, it is important to be able to determine the macro- and the micronutrient composition of the vegetative parts of the rice plant and of the rice grain. In this chapter, nitric-perchloric acid digestion and inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) methods routinely used in IRRI’s Grain Quality and Nutrition Services Laboratory (GQNSL) to determine the concentrations of various macro- and micronutrients found in the rice grain and the rice plant, are described.

Key words

Nitric-perchloric digestion Inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) Macronutrients Micronutrients 



The authors are grateful to Mariel Ong, Reah Gonzales, Marnol Santos, Edgar Amoloza, Jose Rosales, and Karen Serdeña, for the assistance in the SOP documentation, sample preparation, validation, and optimization of the digestion and ICP methodologies in GQNSL. This work has been supported under the CGIAR thematic area Global Rice Agri-Food System CRP, RICE, The Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Taiwan support from Council of Agriculture (COA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and BBSRC Newton grant funding Reference number BB/N013808/1.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Rice Research InstituteLos BañosPhilippines

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