Rice, especially brown rice, has long aroused a controversial issue surrounding it being found to contain medium levels of arsenic. Of course, the problem is not with the grain, but from the soil: rice grown on arsenic contaminated soil has a higher than average arsenic content. And arsenic content in the soil is generated by the erosion of arsenic rocks, volcanic eruptions, mining, pesticides containing arsenic and several other sources. Arsenic in the soil or irrigated water too high will inhibit rice growth, resulting in low yields. Human arsenic poisoning also damages the skin and has been linked to some cancers.
And a British research group recently invented a “new method of cooking rice that only removes arsenic without destroying the nutrients in rice”. This is thought to be the solution to the problem “nutrients are also removed at the arsenic removal phase”.
Earlier in January 2020, a research team at the University of Shefield, UK found that half of the rice consumed in the UK exceeded “the standard value of arsenic that can be supplied to children. infants and children under 5 years of age “set by the European Commission. After the findings were made, the team called for mandatory labeling to warn of risks to the newborn.
And in a report published on October 29, the team has devised a “new cooking method that can remove 74% of the arsenic contained in white rice and 50% or more of the arsenic contained in brown rice”. According to this new cooking method, in addition to removing arsenic, they can retain nutrients that tend to escape from the rice when cooked.
This method of cooking rice is named Parboiling with Absorption Method (PBA). PBA is a method in which rice is boiled in boiling water for about 5 minutes, then water is removed, new water is added and the product is cooked on a low temperature to absorb water.
Explanation of the PBA with illustrations.
First, boil 4 cups of water with each cup of rice, add the rice to boiling water, boil for 5 minutes, then drain. The researchers say that the arsenic will pass out to the water during this drainage. Then, add 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice and heat over low to medium heat, so that the sausage absorbs water.
The research is based on arsenic as a water-soluble substance. This is also the reason it accumulates in rice grown in more water than wheat, and most of it is in the outer shell surrounding the milk germ. For this reason, unmilled brown rice contains more arsenic than white rice. Most arsenic is removed during rice milling, but on the other hand, 75 to 90% of the nutrients are also removed.
Manoj Menon, an environmental scientist at Shefield University, said: “Previous studies have shown that cooking rice with excess water removes arsenic, but this method also removes nutrients. Our goal is to remove arsenic while still maximizing nutrients. PBA is easy to make and anyone can make at home Brown rice is more nutritious than white rice. Arsenic exposure also prevents nutrient loss. Infants and children are susceptible to arsenic contamination so this method is suitable for children, so it is recommended when cooking. “