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Chapter 20: Nutritional Properties of Rice and Rice Bran

Wallace Yokoyama, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Western Regional Research Center, Albany, California

RICE: Chemistry and Technology, Third Edition
Pages 595-609
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1094/1891127349.020
ISBN: 978-1-891127-34-9


The nutritional composition of rice and its fundamental importance as the major source of caloric energy and protein for most of the population of Asia remain essentially unchanged since the second edition of Rice: Chemistry and Technology was published in 1985. However, our comprehension of the structure and organization of starch, protein, and other components of rice as related to human nutrition has been extended to include health promotion and disease prevention in addition to sustenance. As we begin the twenty-first century, we recognize that obesity and problems of overnutrition, rather than inadequate nutrition, have become epidemic in developed countries.

A review of the literature concerning the glycemic properties of rice and their relationship to diabetes is included in this chapter because diabetes is increasing as the living standards of rice-consuming Asian countries improve. In the past 10 years, the role of plant sterols in reducing human plasma cholesterol has become widely accepted. This chapter provides an overview of rice phytonutrients and other components that contribute to the hypocholesterolemic properties of rice bran and its oil. These phytonutrients and structural features of the grain may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes; relevant research findings are highlighted here.