Nutrient deficiency diseases are public health problems in developing nations. Our objective was to design a rice-fortification method using materials approved for use in foods to retain significant quantities of added nutrients during the common practice of boiling rice in excess water and draining it. We accomplished this by applying nutrients to rice in edible polymer coatings. Various starches and cellulosic polymers were evaluated with respect to flexibility, strength, stickiness and nutrient retention. Combining hydroxypropyl methylcellulose and methylcellulose (3:1) gave the best results. Nutrient retentions for 1g of coated rice cooked in 100 ml water and drained were: Vitamin A, 70%; iron, 100%; niacin, 18%; thiamin, 18%, riboflavin, 21%.