UArk research examines use of broken kernels in instant rice products

rebecca bruce

Rebecca Bruce co-authored a research paper with Division of Agriculture faculty that was named “editor’s pick” by the Cereals & Grains Association. Bruce was named Bumpers College’s Distinguished Master’s Scholar in 2018 and has earned a Doctoral Academy Fellowship from the U of A Graduate School and International Education while completing degrees in food science.

A paper written by a doctoral student and faculty of the department of food science in the University of Arkansas has been named an “editor’s pick” by the Cereals & Grains Association.

The paper, “Physicochemical and Functional Properties of Medium-Sized Broken Rice Kernels and Their Potential in Instant Rice Production,” was written by doctoral student Rebecca Bruce, associate professor of food processing and post-harvest system engineering Griffiths Atungulu, and associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering Sammy Sadaka.

Atungulu is on the teaching faculty of Bumpers College and the research faculty of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the research arm of the university’s Division of Agriculture. Sadaka is an Extension engineer with the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

The study found the use of broken rice kernels for production of instant rice is feasible and can reduce the cost of raw materials, and improve cooked rice sensory characteristics. The authors recommend consumer sensory studies be conducted to determine product acceptability.

The research provides information on the enhancement of the value of broken rice as a commodity through novel applications. It also provides science‐based information on characteristics of medium‐sized broken rice, which is useful in new product development.

The paper was one of two selected by Cereal Chemistry Editor-in-Chief Les Copeland for his June editor’s picks, saying the research “describes a means to enhance the value of broken rice. The description of the characteristics of medium-sized broken rice will be useful for new product development.”

Bruce, who has created her own foundation in Ghana, earned a Doctoral Academy Fellowship from the U of A Graduate School and International Education. She was named Bumpers College’s Distinguished Master’s Scholar as well as the department’s outstanding  M.S. student in 2019.

Bruce has won multiple awards at presentations and conferences, and is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

Atungulu is Bruce’s primary adviser and Sadaka is on her dissertation committee.

Cereal Chemistry is an international journal of scientific papers reporting significant and recent research in areas of genetics, composition, processing and use of grains, including barley, maize, millet, oats, rice, rye, sorghum, triticale, wheat, pulses, oilseeds and specialty crops.

The University of Arkansas contributed this article.