Characterization of antioxidant compounds of red and white rice and changes in total antioxidant capacity during processing



Although most rice cultivars have whitish kernel, some varieties have a red testa. Aim of this work was to compare the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and the antioxidant chemical composition (namely tocols, γ-oryzanols, and polyphenols) of red and white rices. In addition, the effect of milling and cooking on antioxidants was investigated in both rices. Dehulled red rice showed a TAC more than three times greater than dehulled white rice and its high TAC was essentially characterized by the presence of proanthocyanidins (PA) and associated phenolics. Milling caused a significant loss of TAC, even if red rice maintained a higher TAC. Cooking caused a further loss of antioxidants, but when there was a full uptake of cooking water by the grains (“risotto”) this loss was limited. Thus, the consumption of whole or partially milled rice cooked as risotto would be preferred to preserve its nutritional properties.