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Brown-rice quality, shelf life improved with new technology

Monday, August 07, 2017 12:00 AM    Views : 315by:S&T Media Service

In Photo: Dr. Dominic S. Guevarra, senior science research specialist of Metals Industry Research and Development Center of the Department of Science and Technology, discusses the superheated-steam treatment system for brown rice.

The consumption of brown rice is becoming popular these days because of its health benefits. However, the ordinary brown rice has a shelf life of one to two months only. But with the newly introduced superheated steam treatment system (SSTS), it can last for nine months without spoilage and rancid flavor.

The new technology was discussed by Dr. Dominic S. Guevarra during the National Science and Technology Week Technology Forum held recently at the Philippine Trade Training Center in Pasay City.

Guevarra, senior science research specialist of the Metals Industry Research and Development Center of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-MIRDC), led the project, "Design and development of superheated steam treatment system for stabilized brown rice", with funding from the DOST's Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD).

He explained the advantages of eating brown rice and the need to improve its quality and shelf life through SSTS. Brown rice is unpolished rice with the bran retained and only the hull removed during milling.

The SSTS involves the use of specialized machine and the application of superheated steam to deactivate the enzyme and reduce or delay enzyme activity, which starts after the bran layer of the brown rice has been exposed. MIRDC designed and developed two types of machine: the Batch-type and the Continuous-type SSTS.

Guevarra said the project has already obtained the optimum parameters, such as temperature, treatment time and capacity at which both machines performed best. The physico-chemical properties of the treated rice have already been tested and results were satisfactory.  MIRDC, in coordination with Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), implemented the project, which was completed last year.

During the forum, FNRI's Dr. Rosemarie Garcia explained that brown rice has been existing a long time ago when rice milling machines have not yet been widely used in the country. Nowadays, many prefer brown rice because of its health benefits in terms of boosting the body's immune system, reducing diabetes, controlling body weight and others.

Garcia is the study leader of the project's component on "Chemical, physico-chemical, microbiological and sensory evaluation of stabilized brown rice produced using superheated steam assembly," also funded by DOST-PCAARRD.

More than 100 participants composed of students, researchers and employees of non-governmental and government organizations attended the Techno Forum. This activity was coordinated by PCAARRD's Socio-Economics Research Division and Agricultural Resources Management Research Division.

MIRDC and FNRI will continue the project's field testing and promotion. The project team is providing capability-building assistance to interested fabricators, rice millers and farmers' cooperatives.

Patent application for the technology has already been filed at the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines.

The development of the SSTS machines and processes is expected to increase the production and consumption of brown rice in the Philippines and make it affordable and readily available to all types of consumers, children and adults, rich and poor.

S&T Media Service


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