Broken rice kernels and the kinetics of rice hydration and texture during cooking


Correspondence to: Mohammed Saleh, Department of Nutrition and Food Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan. E-mail:



During rice milling and processing, broken kernels are inevitably present, although to date it has been unclear as to how the presence of broken kernels affects rice hydration and cooked rice texture. Therefore, this work intended to study the effect of broken kernels in a rice sample on rice hydration and texture during cooking. Two medium-grain and two long-grain rice cultivars were harvested, dried and milled, and the broken kernels were separated from unbroken kernels. Broken rice kernels were subsequently combined with unbroken rice kernels forming treatments of 0, 40, 150, 350 or 1000 g kg−1 broken kernels ratio. Rice samples were then cooked and the moisture content of the cooked rice, the moisture uptake rate, and rice hardness and stickiness were measured.


As the amount of broken rice kernels increased, rice sample texture became increasingly softer (P < 0.05) but the unbroken kernels became significantly harder. Moisture content and moisture uptake rate were positively correlated, and cooked rice hardness was negatively correlated to the percentage of broken kernels in rice samples.


Differences in the proportions of broken rice in a milled rice sample play a major role in determining the texture properties of cooked rice. Variations in the moisture migration kinetics between broken and unbroken kernels caused faster hydration of the cores of broken rice kernels, with greater starch leach-out during cooking affecting the texture of the cooked rice. The texture of cooked rice can be controlled, to some extent, by varying the proportion of broken kernels in milled rice. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry