Written by the Web Team
Extending the shelf life of brown rice and imparting knowledge on how to prepare it are the most significant contributions of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) to the National Year of Rice 2013.
In a survey conducted by the FNRI, Engr. Rosemarie G. Garcia said that besides its chewiness, the other problems seen by most people toward brown rice are its availability, higher price compared to white rice, longer time to cook, and shorter shelf life. The FNRI is an attached agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
Garcia said that one problem leads to the other, with one of the respondents who is a rice retailer telling them that the reason why he does not sell brown rice is that it easily gets rancid and is more expensive. Because of price and shelf life issues, retailers find it harder to sell brown rice compared to white or polished rice.
To help the government address some of these issues, FNRI has experimented on four rice varieties most suitable for brown rice, which were then treated to deactivate their enzymes and prevent them from producing free fatty acids that lead to rancidity. The agency’s study showed that after the treatment, the shelf life of brown rice was prolonged from 4 months to 9 months, even if stored only at room temperature.
Apart from prolonging the shelf life of Kaninyumanggi, the DOST-coined term for brown rice, the book, Brown Rice Recipes Para sa Lahing Kayumanggi, was launched on August 28 at The Sulo Riviera Hotel, Quezon City as part of FNRI’s support to the National Year of Rice 2013 campaign.
The book showcased 23 recipes from FNRI’s group of nutritionists, which include the use of brown rice as appetizer, main dish and dessert. To give the audience a taste of the recipes in the book, Chefs Luchi Callanta and Timothy Neil Abuela from the Center for Culinary Arts demonstrated how to prepare Pahiyas rice, which was named after the famous Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon. It is also called Pahiyas rice because it is a colorful dish, and Onde-onde which was named after onde, the Malaysian word for sticky.