Nutrition Value of Rice and Rice Products
Rice has become a wide rang of foods and function. Implementation of functional food processing through rice nutritional properties will be important to human health. Nutritional value of rice is mainly on rice varieties, harvesting and processing method. Rice is rich in energy and a good source of protein. Rice also contains a reasonable amont of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin E and other nutrients such as iron, calcium and phosphorous. Rice protein has one of the highest quality proteins because of its high lysine content, the first limiting amino acids. It is gluten-free and non allergenic.
Brown rice are also interested to its functional properties. It composed of high dietary fiber which have an effect as a gentle laxative, gastro-intrstinal diseases prevention and good for diabetes patients. The B vitamins and minerals are also concentrated in the outer layers of brown rice or in the bran fraction. Rice bran contains high ferulic acid, phytic acid, inositol and r-oryzanol. It has high levels of both tocopherols and tocotrienols, which comprise vitamin E. It acts as anti-oxidant, anti-cancer and lower cholesterol. Rice bran and its oil is among the most important sources of functional components. Young rice and its product (rice drink and drink power) with antioxidant and high dietary fiber are available as a health food in the Thai market.
Resistant starch acts like soluble fiber in the gastrointestinal tract, thus providing the health benefits of fiber. Resistant starch has a low glycemic index because of the slow release of glucose. Increasing resistant starch content in the diet has the potential to provide several significant health benefits and add value to rice.
Rice germ and geminated rice also contain Gamma-amino butyric acid. It has been proved to be effective for lowering the blood pressure and acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Only few products are produce for consumer.
The emerging trend in product development and process improvement of rice utilization should be focus on the factor which upgrading of nutritional quality. Which it continue to play a great role in future product development and world food diet.
* Institue of Food Research and Product Development, Kasersart University,