Breeders in Arkansas, California and Louisiana have all released jasmine-type rice cultivars. Until recently, no one has characterized their physical, chemical, thermal and pasting properties and compared them to imported Thai jasmine, which comprises about 60% to 70% of U.S imported rice.
Anastasia Mills, an undergraduate student in the University of Arkansas Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Science, has done just that in her food science undergraduate honors thesis.
Working under Ya-Jane Wang, a UArk professor of carbohydrate chemistry, Mills’ study — “Characterization of jasmine rice cultivars grown in the United States” — was published in the fall 2020 issue of Discovery, The Student Journal of Dale Bumpers College.
In general, the U.S. varieties had smaller length/width ratios, darker color, and greater ash and lipid contents than the Thai controls, according to her study.
The Arkansas samples were similar to each other as well as to one Louisiana sample, CLJ01 2017, and the other Louisiana samples were similar to each other. But rice of both origins was different from Thai jasmine.
Calaroma-201 was found to be the most similar to the Thai jasmine rice out of the U.S. varieties. These findings can help the U.S. rice industry to develop U.S. jasmine rice cultivars closer to Thai jasmine rice, according to Mills.