The head of the Department of Science and Technology believes that the country could chew up the rice shortage if every Filipino would eat brown rice, a government press release said.
DOST Sec. Mario Montejo said that to address the persistent rice shortage, Filipinos must shift their cereal preference from white rice to brown rice.
“We should think outside the box, we should change our mind set. We should look at the problem, which is lack of rice,” Montejo said adding that brown rice could fill the gap.
The milling of palay to brown rice alone already produces 10 percent more than what white rice could give and this amount by current estimates is equivalent to the country's rice production deficit, he pointed out, the press release said.
Dr. Emil Javier, president of DOST’s National Academy of Science and Technology, meanwhile, explained that with the bran and the nutrient-rich embryo intact and with fewer broken grains, the whole-grain milling recovery of brown rice is as much as 10 percent higher than white rice.
Technically, the Philippine Rice Research Institute calls brown rice “unpolished rice” because the grain is not totally polished.
The Asia Rice Foundation on the other hand dubs it as “whole rice grain” for in the milling of brown rice, only 28 percent of the husk is removed, unlike white rice that requires 38 percent of the husk taken.
The remaining bran gives the brown color to the grain. Rice becomes white or polished when the bran layer is stripped off in milling which is the whitening process.
For a start, Montejo said the DOST is developing ways to extend the shelf life of brown rice which is shorter than that of white rice. The DOST is now developing a process to solve this disadvantage and it will be completed this year, the press release said.*