Nutritionally Supersized Puffed Rice Is a Protein Powerhouse

Puffed Rice

Puffed Rice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By now you’ve already done the resolution thing, one of which is probably to get healthier in 2013. It seems food scientists are looking for ways to make it easier for you to accomplish this.

Researchers from the Institute of Food Science at Cornell University have found a way to create puffed rice that is fortified with three times more protein, eight times more dietary fiber, as well as calcium, iron, zinc and other nutrients that are missing from the puffed rice cereals currently on the market. And for all you culinary enthusiasts, this new puffed rice is crisper than its predecessor, adding more crunch. It is being touted as great for breakfast cereals, snack foods and nutrient bars.

The secret is in the puffing process. The current form of puffed rice is made by steam extrusion. A machine called an extruder squeezes the rice flour and water mixture through a narrow opening at high temperature and pressure. When the rice leaves the opening, it puffs up because the escaping steam expands. The bad news is that this process destroys heat-sensitive nutrients. These researchers found that using supercritical carbon dioxide as the expander instead of steam prevented nutrient loss, creating a fortified puff rice. Supercritical carbon dioxide is currently used for making decaffeinated coffee.






~ by chasm63 on January 1, 2013.

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