A new, super-nutritious puffed rice for breakfast cereals and snacks

December 19, 2012

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 such as broken rice makes these expanded unique to the marketplace."

Explore further: Elevated arsenic levels reported in rice grown in South Central States

More information: "Micronutrient and Protein-Fortified Whole Grain Puffed Rice Made by Supercritical Fluid Extrusion", pubs.acs.org/stoken/presspac/presspac/full/10.1021/jf3034804

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kevinrtrs
2.5 / 5 (2) Dec 20, 2012
Question is whether it's still a high glyceamic index food or does the substantial increase in protein change it back to the original intermediate to low GI food it was originally - before the manmade disfiguration took place?

The other question is whether it will still be smothered in cane sugar or will the manufacturers choose to give the consumers the option of adding their own sweetners, i.e. simply leave it as is?

Since more and more people are realising the health issues related to sugar consumption, it might be an incredibly wise [commercial] decision on their part to do away with ANY sweetner and leave it to the consumer to do as they wish.

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