December 12, 2023— Assoc. Prof. Dr Sarawoot Palipoch from the School of Medicine (SMD), along with the working team of the Center for Academic Services (CAS) at Walailak University, presented the final report of “The Development of a Geographic Information System Database and Study of Nutritional Values and Antioxidant and Anti-Aging Activities of Indigenous Rice at Pak Phanang River Basin, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand.” to the representatives of the Royal Development Projects Board (ORDPB) and the Administration and Coordination Center for Pak Phanang River Basin Development, both of which supported the research budget for this project. The presentation took place at the Administration and Coordination Center for Pak Phanang River Basin Development.
The research work has been widely recognized for its academic completeness and practical benefits to the community and related sectors. It was found that indigenous rice varieties in the community still have the most cultivation in the Pak Phanang River Basin area, particularly in Pak Phanang District across four sub-districts: Ban Phoeng, Tha Phaya, Khanab Nak, and Pak Phraek. Farmers prefer cultivating various indigenous rice varieties, such as Look Lai Rice, Chor Lum Pee Rice, Leuang Rice and Kab Dam Rice. These indigenous rice varieties stand out for their notable nutritional properties, including higher levels of magnesium, potassium, and zinc compared to common rice varieties, as well as low sodium content and possessing antioxidants, particularly in Kab Dam Rice and Chor Lum Pee Rice, which exhibit good potential in inhibiting colorectal cancer cells. Additionally, Kab Dam Rice and Look Lai Rice show excellent anti-aging properties in cells.
Furthermore, the project has collaborated with the School of Agricultural Technology and Food Industry and Community Enterprise Group for Nipa Palm Sugar Processing from Khanab Nak Sub-district. They utilize the outstanding indigenous rice varieties, particularly Kab Dam Rice, popular in Khanab Namnak Sub-district, as an ingredient in local food processing. This includes the production of Thai caramel, a local delicacy, which has become a supplementary income source for the community. Following the knowledge transfer on Thai caramel production to the community, they have successfully produced and sold Thai caramel, contributing to the group’s additional income.
The research project has effectively communicated and shared the free knowledge gained from the research with local farmers and relevant organizations, such as Nakhon Si Thammarat Rice Research Center and Pak Phanang District Agricultural Extension Office.
This collaboration aimed to discuss and exchange ideas on utilizing various nutritional aspects beneficial to health for consumers. The hope is that the dissemination of free knowledge about the nutritional properties of indigenous rice varieties will motivate more farmers to consume local rice, leading to increased consumption. Additionally, the project aims to raise awareness among consumers and the general public about indigenous rice in the Pak Phanang River Basin area through various media channels, especially online platforms that provided easy free access to food knowledge. This is to inform people about the nutritional value, particularly in the form of brown rice, as an alternative for those who prioritize health care and disease prevention.