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Lees version 3PhilRice’s food scientists found that lees, a residue from tapuy (Philippine rice wine), is an alternative nutrient-rich ingredient to baked food products.

In a study by Rosaly Manaois and Amelia Morales, results showed that rice wine lees significantly improves the protein and dietary fiber content of brownies, a popular Filipino snack food. This finding comes from the paper, Nutritional and sensory quality of brownies supplemented with Tapuy (Philippine Rice Wine) lees.

“This study further supports the feasibility of lees as a nutritious ingredient for food products. Lees is an underutilized by-product of tapuy production, which is about 27% of the weight of raw rice,” Manois said.

Through their study, the authors established that rice wine lees powder (RLP) has high levels of protein and dietary fiber. Its amino acid values are also higher than those of ordinary rice flour, the study says.

In their examination at PhilRice’s Rice Chemistry and Food Science Division, Manaois and Morales substituted wheat flour in brownies with different levels of RLP (0, 15, 30, 45, and 60%).

Results showed that when brownies was supplemented by 30% and 45% of RLP, its protein content significantly improved with no considerable effect on overall sensory quality. Dietary fiber also increased from 13.85% to 19.5 % when 45% of RLP was used in brownies.

Manaois noted that protein is important for the development, growth, and proper functioning of the body. She added that dietary fiber helps in maintaining a healthy digestive system, controlling weight, and minimizing the risk of certain diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

The authors previously tested the lees flour on polvoron, a minimally processed product and another common Filipino snack food. Results revealed that up to 50% of lees can be substituted to all-purpose flour with minimal effect on its quality.

“Preparation of lees into flour will help in the management of waste from tapuy production and consequently increase its profitability, in addition to improving the nutritional quality of food products,” Manaois concluded.

Manaois presented the paper on lees in the 6th International Conference on Nutrition and Food Sciences in Budapest, Hungary last May. The authors received the best oral presentation award for the session on food safety and nutrition topping other researchers from Taiwan, Poland, Turkey, Indonesia, and Hong Kong.

Manaois’ participation in the said conference was funded by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology through its Human Resource Development Program.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute