Research conducted at the University of Leuven grants insights in cooking time and nutritional characteristics of Uncle Ben's Long Grain parboiled rice.
In 2001, professor Jan Delcour and his team at KU Leuven's Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Biochemistry conducted research to improve the eating quality Uncle Ben's long grain parboiled rice. The research was commissioned by MARS NV from Olen, Belgium.
The production of white, parboiled rice starts with the removal of the outer rice layer, the husk, to produce brown rice. Secondly, the brown rice is hydrothermally treated. This treatment consists of three different steps: soaking, steaming and drying of brown rice. In a final phase, the parboiled brown rice is polished to remove the bran, resulting in white, parboiled rice.
Parboiled rice is harder and less sticky and has a slight amber colour. The rice cooking time, hardness and stickiness depend on the conditions used during parboiling, and it is in this area that the team of Professor Jan Delcour has realised breakthroughs.