White Rice Flour

Function

White Rice flour is often used as a healthier alternative to wheat flour because it is easier to digest and richer in fiber. It is a popular substitute for wheat flour in gluten-free baking with the addition of other flours, starches, gums, and enzymes to help mimic a gluten matrix.

Origin

White Rice flour is very common in parts of the world where rice is more of a staple ingredient than wheat or wheat flour. In the 1980’s, it was introduced to the western part of the world where it became a primary ingredient in many processed foods in the baking industry. Of the world’s total rice production, 90% is grown and consumed in Asia.

What is rice flour?

White Rice flour is a flour produced from grinding polished white rice that has the bran layer removed.

White Rice flour has around 6-8% protein, 75-82% carbohydrates, 0.7-1% fat. White rice flour milling removes the fat and micronutrient-rich bran layers. Therefore, 75-90% of vitamins B1, B6, E and Niacin are removed in the white rice milling process. The iron level is brought down from 2.6 mg/100 g to as low as 0.4-0.6 mg/100 g. Iron is considered one of the most limited micronutrients in diets based mainly on polished rice. White rice flour can be enriched with vitamins and minerals to meet the specific nutrient requirements. White Rice flour is gluten-free therefore, individuals with celiac disease can safely consume it.

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Applications

Because white rice possesses unique nutritional, hypoallergenic, colorless and bland taste properties, it is used in baby foods and puddings. Its role in development of foods for gluten-intolerant patients especially has been increasing. The use of rice flour in breadmaking is still limited because rice proteins are unable to retain the gas produced during the fermentation process.

Add transglutaminase: Rice proteins are polymerized through the transglutaminase reaction, providing a protein network necessary for holding the gas produced in fermentation. With the addition of 1% transglutaminase in the presence of 2% hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), rice bread’s specific volume increases and its crumb becomes softer.

Add hydrocolloids: HPMC has been found to be the most suitable hydrocolloid and yields rice bread with a specific volume comparable to that of wheat bread. HPMC is able to provide rice flour dough with film-forming and CO2 -entrapping properties. Other hydrocolloids like CMC and xanthan gum can’t replace HPMC by providing similar gas-retaining and film-forming properties. HPMC has been used at levels of 3.5–5.3%.