To set things clear about brown rice, Department of Science and Technology food science and technology expert Rosemarie Garcia debunked several myths during the Smarter Living Advocacy of the Expo Science 2013 held recently at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.
Garcia, from DOST’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute, revealed the following top misconceptions about brown rice:
Myth # 1. Brown rice is a variety of rice.
Garcia clarifies that brown rice is any variety of rice that undergoes milling process just once, removing only the outer husk but leaving its bran layer intact. In contrast, white rice undergoes second milling process which removes the bran layer. This means that even purple or black rice that has its bran layer intact can be considered as brown rice. The bran layer in brown rice contains vitamins and minerals which make it nutritionally superior than white rice.
Myth # 2. Brown rice can cause digestion problems
On the contrary, brown rice is rich in dietary fiber, Garcia said. Consumption of foods rich in dietary fiber can help prevent constipation.
Myth # 3. Brown rice can hamper the absorption minerals because it contains more phytates than white rice.
Phytates are anti-oxidant compounds that are found in whole grains and nuts. While there is some truth that phytates can slow down the absorption of certain minerals, Garcia says that the amount of phytates in brown rice is not significant enough to affect absorption of minerals, particularly zinc, in the body.
DOST- FNRI has been campaigning for wider acceptance of brown rice primarily because of its nutritive value. In addition, brown rice production requires less energy inputs for polishing yet it provides higher milling recovery which would mean more savings and profits for both farmers and millers.
In line with this goal, DOST-FNRI embarks on research and development on brown rice. Recent research initiatives include extending the shelf life of brown rice to up to six to nine months and developing recipes for brown rice. (Luisa Lumioan, S&T Media Service)
Rosemarie Garcia, senior science research specialist from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology, clarifies the common misconceptions about brown rice in the recently held Expo Science 2013 Smarter Living Advocacy at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City. (Luisa Lumioan, S&T Media Service)