STUTTGART, Ark. -- Food product marketers looking for an alternative to traditional instant rice may want to look at Riceland Foods' Quick Cook Rice. After extensive testing, Riceland has developed a unique process that helps an instant type of rice maintain its natural flavor and texture.
According to Don McCaskill, Riceland's manager of rice research and development, the line is "well suited to products ranging from consumer and food-service dry mixes to functional ingredients in flour and meal products."
At a presentation during a new products session at this year's Institute of Food Technologists convention in Atlanta, McCaskill demonstrated the applications and advantages of using quick-cook rice in boxed dinners and other dry mixes, prepared frozen entrees, food service applications and as a carrier for flavors, colors and nutrients. "The overall benefit is best summarized by saying that these products offer a unique combination of convenience and quality at an intermediate cost," he said.
The quick-cook rice comes in two different varieties: milled rice and brown rice. The milled rice cooks in about half the time of regular-milled rices. It remains fluffy and separate when cooked, retaining a firm texture as well as the kernel integrity and flavor of traditional milled rice, according to Riceland. The resulting product is less sticky.
The quick-cook brown rice cooks in about one quarter the time required by regular brown rice while maintaining a natural nutty flavor. The finished product is fluffy and separate when cooked and exhibits a slightly chewy texture. Both brown and milled rice are available in long-and medium-grain types.
Because the bulk density is lighter than conventional rice, it can provide advantages in packaging and shipping, Riceland said. In addition, the moisture is lower than that of standard rice, so it is more compatible with the seasonings used in dry mixes and will not promote caking. Riceland said the lower moisture also allows the rice to maintain a low microbial count, increasing product safety. The porous nature of the product increases the adhesion of spices or other components in a mix.