Submitted to: Experiment Station Bulletins
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: June 15, 2006
Publication Date: July 13, 2006
Citation: Bergman, C.J., Chen, M.H., Goffman, F.D. 2006. Whole grain rice and health benefits. Texas Rice, Highlighting Research in 2006. http://beaumont.tamu.edu/eLibrary/Newsletter/2007_Highlights_in_Research.pdf. pp. XII-XIII.
The bran layer of the whole-grain rice contained various health-beneficial phytonutrients including phenolics (simple phenolics and tannins), vitamin E (tocopherols and tocotrienols), and oryzanols. These phytonutrients are bioactive compounds that provide protection against degenerative diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases. This protective ability has primarily been attributed to their antioxidant activity. In addition, tocotrienols and oryzanols were reported to reduce cholesterol synthesis and lower serum cholesterol level, respectively. They are also one of the principal ingredients that protect food quality by preventing oxidative deterioration of lipids. Results from two field studies of rice bran or whole grain of colored rice cultivars demonstrated that the cultivars, in general, with red and purple bran have higher (up to 20 times) total phenolics content and antioxidant capacity than does the light-brown rice, i.e. typical US consumed rice. Variation does exist among rice accessions with similar colored bran. In a separate study, approximately 200 rice accessions of diverse origin were used to study the concentrations of vitamin E and oryzanols in the bran. More than two-fold differences in vitamin E and oryanol contents were found. Among them, two US cultivars, A201 (long grain rice) and Vista (medium grain rice), contained higher contents of both total vitamin E and oryzanols. Improvement of these phytonutrient contents through traditional and marker-assisted breeding methods is feasible. The Cereal Chemistry Lab will continue studying these phytonutrients to enhance the health-beneficial properties of whole-grain rice.