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Old 11-20-2007, 12:28 AM   #1
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James4553 HB User
Wholegrain White Rice?

Hello

I know this may seem like a strange question but is there such a thing as wholegrain white rice?
I would've thought the obvious answer is no, but recently my parents went to China and they watch the rice farmers harvesting a crop.
They took one of the rice stalks that had been harvested and rubbed off the husk and they tell me that the grain was white.
This got me thinking that perhaps there are varieties of rice that are white in colour but not polished or processed.
If this is not the case, why would the poorer asians bother with undertaking the process to convert brown rice to white rice when brown rice would be cheaper and healthier?
Any comments are welcome.

Thank you

 
Old 11-20-2007, 06:05 AM   #2
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rheanna HB Userrheanna HB User
Re: Wholegrain White Rice?

James4553,

That's a very good question, and here is my proposal. White rice is produced by polishing to remove the outer protective coat (bran) and the germ (sort of like the yolk of an egg -- it provides nutrition for the rice seed when it is planted). This has the advantage of removing the parts that can go rancid quickly, allowing for a longer storage time than brown rice. It also has the advantage of allowing a quicker cooking time (15 minutes for white rice versus 45 minutes for brown rice). The disadvantage to removing the bran and germ is that the more nutritious parts are removed, leaving a product that is mostly starch. Brown rice, which includes the bran and germ, has lots more fiber and vitamins and minerals than white rice. (The consumer gets to weigh the advantages and disadvantages and take their choice. )

I don't know anything about the new rice variety that you are describing, but I would speculate that perhaps they have found a way to product a rice kernel with little to no outer coat (bran). This would result in a rice that is quicker to cook than traditional brown rice, without the manufacturing step of polishing. They still would have the germ to contend with, which contains enough fat so that the rice would go rancid faster than regular polished white rice.

It wouldn't necessarily be cheaper than polished white rice. A part of the pricing has to do with volume -- when you have a product that you can sell a lot of, the economics of scale mean that you can sell your product for less, making a smaller profit per unit, while still making a large profit because all those little unit profits add up to a lot.

Just speculation. Does anyone else know anything about this?

--Rheanna

Last edited by rheanna; 11-20-2007 at 06:10 AM. Reason: spelling and clarification

 
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Old 11-21-2007, 08:49 PM   #3
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James4553 HB User
Re: Wholegrain White Rice?

Thanks for the reply Rheanna.
I hadn't thought of the storage life and cooking time but I'm almost sure that you are correct there. Polishing the rice wouldn't cost them any extra and the advantage of storage life and quicker cooking would outweigh the health benefits for them. They may not even know that brown rice is healthier.

 
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