The puffed rice that we’re used to seeing in our breakfast cereals and snack foods now packs a powerful nutritious punch thanks to a new process that not only blows the grains up with air, but adds three times the protein.
Previously, puffed rice was created using hot steam that typically destroys heat-sensitive nutrients. But scientists, including Syed S. H. Rivi and colleagues, used a process that employs supercritical carbon dioxide. In addition to adding three times the protein as the old method, this process allows eight times more dietary fiber, plus calcium, iron, zinc and other nutrients lacking in conventionally puffed rice.
The scientists also claim their puffed rice was crispier than commercial products with a better taste and crunch.
The report, which appeared in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, states the new rice is “ideally suited for consumption as breakfast cereals, snack food and as part of nutrition bars for school lunch programs. The balanced nutritional profile and use of staple crop byproducts such as broken rice makes these expanded crisps unique to the marketplace.”