Utilization and Product
Development - 93



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Project Leader and Principal Investigators

R.N. Sayre, research leader, Cereal Product Utilization Research Unit, Western Regional Research Center, ARS-USDA, Albany, CA

While the majority of research funded by the Rice Research Board involves the actual field production of rice, the other end of the continuum - market development - is also important. Through grower-funded research, scientists at the USDA's Western Regional Research Center in,A1bany are searching for ways that rice can be processed into new markets.

Stabilized Rice Bran

Research continues to be done on rice bran. Scientists found that stabilized rice bran may develop "off" flavors due to the oxidation of its oils. This seems to be a particular problem when bran is heated a second time. If this change could be prevented, the usefulness of full fat rice bran as a food ingredient could be expanded. Since temperature in both the stabilization and subsequent storage may influence the rate of oxidation in the oil of stabilized rice bran, scientists are conducting experiments in both of these areas to determine optimal conditions that will minimize oxidation. Researchers have also analyzed the various components of rice bran in an attempt to identify the factors that reduce cholesterol levels in both the blood and the liver. A recently completed nutritional study using hamsters indicates that the unsaponifiable matter in rice bran oil is largely responsible for the cholesterol-lowering property of rice bran. USDA researchers have also developed an image analysis method to measure plaque formation and regression in hamster arteries.

USDA.jpg (130841 bytes)Rice Technology

Seventy-five rice samples representing different varieties grown at different locations have been analyzed for gelatinization temperature. These same samples will be analyzed for molecular size and shape with a newly acquired instrument to establish an information base for rice starch from differing sources. This information will be related to processing characteristics and will develop a better understanding of the effects of both variety and environment upon rice quality for use in processed products.

Extrusion Technology

The quality of rice pasta products was further improved using a new experimental design to identify optimum extruder parameters - processing temperature, screw speed, screw configuration and amount of added moisture. Researchers produced rice pasta with improved taste, texture, and reduced cooking loss. They described it as "superior to commercially available rice-based pastas."

Quality Assessment

Albany scientists collaborating with the USDA Instrumentation and Sensing Laboratory and the Canadian Grain Research Laboratory established the reliability of Near- infrared (NIR) Spectroscopy to determine amylose and protein content in rice. This successful demonstration of results by a rapid, non-destructive technology will expand the use of this equipment at other rice quality research facilities, plant breeders and millers.

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