Rice Bran Oil

rice bran oilRice Bran Oil- the “rediscovered” cooking oil with a high smoke point.

What is rice bran oil?

Imagine a grain of whole, freshly-harvested rice, sliced in half lengthwise and magnified many times. You would see a hard outer layer covering the whole rice seed, protecting it from the environment. This is called the husk, the hull, or chaff.

Inside this hard outer layer is a second layer called the bran, or inner husk. This is where rice bran oil is found. Bran represents only about 8% of the weight of the whole rice grain, but contains about 3/4 of the total oil. The bran is itself composed of four layers, and also includes the rice germ, or embryo. You’ve heard of wheat germ right? All grains have a “germ” sandwiched between the endosperm and the bran layer.

In the middle of the rice grain is the endosperm. This is the starchy part that we call “white rice” when the outer layers have been stripped off in a processing plant.

People in many Asian countries have been producing and cooking with rice bran oil for many years. The oil can be extracted from the bran either by pressing the steam-heated bran between heavy rollers or screw presses called “oil mills”, or by using solvents to chemically separate the oil from the bran. What’s left behind is a product called “defatted rice bran”. After the oil has been extracted, it must be purified.

What’s special about rice bran oil?

“Rice bran oil, not being a seed‐derived oil, has a composition qualitatively different from common vegetable oils.” [Kaimal et al., 2002]

  • High smoke point: Rice bran oil has a high smoke point of 232 °C (450 °F), which means it is appropriate for high-temperature cooking methods such as stir frying and deep frying.
  • Mild flavor: The oil has a mild to neutral taste, so it does not overpower the flavor of other foods.It is light, versatile and pleasant to use in  salad dressings, baking dips etc.
  • Balance: The oil has an ideal balance of polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) and monounsaturated fats (MUFA). In fact it contains 37% polyunsaturated fats and 45 % monounsaturated fats, almost a perfect 1:1 ratio.
  • Suitable for people with histamine intolerance: Rice bran oil is listed as a safe food for sufferers of HIT.
  • Health benefits: The oil is rich in vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients. It contains abundant vitamin E complex, tocopherols and antioxidants known as gamma aryzanol, as well as quantities of phytosterols, polyphenols and sqnalene. It is considered to be “heart friendly” and may help to lower cholesterol.
  • Keeping qualities: Rice bran oil has a very good shelf life compared with other cooking oils.

Keep some rice bran oil in your pantry for healthier eating!


Reference: Origin of problems encountered in rice bran oil processing. Thengumpillil Narayana Balagopala Kaimal et.al. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology. 9 April 2002. https://doi.org/10.1002/1438-9312(200204)104:4<203::AID-EJLT203>3.0.CO;2-X

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Wheat free savory breakfast muffins

savory muffinsRecipe of the month – May

Wheat free savory breakfast muffins

(Page 133 Is Food Making You Sick?)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plain flour with permitted ingredients
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal or fine polenta
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup parmesan substitute [page 110]
  • 1/4 cup fresh ricotta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini (courgette)
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives and parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup sweet corn

 Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 180º C (350º F) and oil the cups of a muffin tray.
  • Beat together the polenta or cornmeal and flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the ricotta, oil and eggs.
  • Add the flour mixture and remaining ingredients. Stir well until all ingredients are combined
  • With a spoon, dollop the mixture evenly into the muffin tray cups and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool in muffin tray for about 5 minutes before sliding a knife blade around the muffins to loosen them from the tray. Do not leave them cooling too long, or they might stick.
  • Turn them out and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack, or eat them warm.
  • These savory gluten free muffins are suitable to freeze. To serve, simply reheat in a microwave.
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