Parboiled Rice: Parboiling Process & Nutritional Properties of Parboiled Rice
Marketable rice is generally in form of white rice but this type of rice is less nutritious than the parboiled rice. In India, white rice is called "Arva" and parboiled rice is popularly known as "Ushna".
White Rice: Beriberi disease, a neurological disorder, is common among people eating only white rice due to deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1). The layers in the rice kernel contain majority of the nutrients that are removed during polishing of white rice. Many of the nutrients needed for digestion of white rice are removed during the milling process. Vitamins like vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and several other nutrients namely potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc and copper are lost during the processing (milling/polishing). There is generally little change in quantities of amino acids. FDA has made it mandatory for rice suppliers to fortify white rice with vitamin B1,B3 and iron.White rice is fortified with minerals and vitamins in form of powder which are washed out during cleaning with water before cooking.
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Parboiled Rice: Thiamine is moved from the bran to endosperm in the parboiling process and nutritional profile of parboiled rice is just a bit inferior to brown rice. Parboiled not only reduces the grain breakage during milling but also greatly improves the vitamins and other nutrients in the polished rice grain. Starch becomes gelatinized in the parboiling process.
Parboiling Process: Parboiling is done before the hulling process (removal of hulls). Parboiled rice is steamed before removal of husk. When cooked, the grains are more nutritious, firmer, and less clingy than white rice grains. Parboiled rice is produced by a process of soaking, pressure steaming and drying prior to milling. This modifies the starch and permits the retention of much of the natural vitamins and minerals in kernels. The rice is usually slightly yellowish, though the color changes after cooking. Sufficient quantities of vitamins (B’s) are absorbed into the kernel to prevent beriberi, a deficiency disease caused by a lack of thiamin. Eating only white rice, beriberi is almost a certainty. Products like idli & dosha prepared using Parboiled rice are considered better in taste than prepared using white or raw rice.
Traditional Parboiling Process: involves soaking rough rice overnight or longer in water followed by boiling or steaming the steeped rice to gelatinize the starch. The parboiled rice is then cooled and sun-dried before storage and milling.
Modern Parboiling Process: Modern methods involve the use of a hot-water soak for a few hours. Parboiling gelatinizes the starch granules and hardens the endosperm, making it translucent. Chalky grains and those with chalky back, belly or core become completely translucent on parboiling. A white core or center indicates that process of parboiling of the rice has not yet completed.
Benefits of Parboiling: Parboiling makes processing of rice by hand easier and improves its nutritional value and changes its texture. Manual polishing of rice becomes easier if the rice has been parboiled. However, it is more difficult to process mechanically. Reason for this is oily bran of parboiled rice that clogs machinery. Milling of parboiled rice is done in similar way as white rice. Parboiled rice takes less time to cook and the cooked rice is firmer and less sticky than white rice.
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