A new process for blowing up grains of rice produces a super-nutritious form of puffed rice, with three times more protein and a rich endowment of other nutrients that make it ideal for breakfast cereals, snack foods and nutrient bars for school lunch programs, scientists are reporting. Their study appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Syed S.H. Rizvi and colleagues explain that commercial puffed rice is made by steam extrusion. An extruder squeezes rice flour mixed with water through a narrow opening at high temperature and pressure. On exiting the nozzle, the rice puffs up as steam expands and escapes. The process, however, can destroy heat-sensitive nutrients. The scientists looked for a way to avoid that loss and enrich rice with protein and other nutrients during the puffing process. They turned to a process that uses supercritical carbon dioxide, which has been used for making decaffeinated coffee and in other applications.
The scientists describe using the process to make puffed rice with three times more protein and eight times more dietary fiber than commercial puffed rice. It also contains calcium, iron, zinc and other nutrients that conventional puffed rice lacks. Their puffed rice was crispier than commercial products, giving it a better taste and crunch. The new rice is "ideally suited for consumption as breakfast cereals, snack food and as part of nutrition bars for school lunch programs," the report states. "The balanced nutritional profile and use of staple crop byproducts such as broken rice makes these expanded crisps unique to the marketplace."
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 164,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.
To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow us: Twitter | Facebook
AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.