Rice hulls could provide a new and healthful source of “liquid smoke” flavoring for foods. Image: iStock
smoke flavoring made from hickory and other wood — a mainstay flavoring
and anti-bacterial agent for the prepared food industry and home
kitchens — may get a competitor that seems to be packed with
antioxidant, antiallergenic and anti-inflammatory substances, according
to a new study in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. It is
the first analysis of liquid smoke produced from rice hulls, the hard,
inedible coverings of rice grains.
Friedman, Seok Hyun Nam and colleagues explain that wood from trees is
typically used to produce liquid smoke, added to meat and other foods
for a smoky taste. But other types of plants can also be burned to make
the popular seasoning. Rice is a prime candidate, with 680 millions tons
produced worldwide each year. Hulls account for 136 million tons of
that amount and often go to waste. The researchers wondered rice hulls
could be put to good use in a liquid form as a food flavoring, and did
the first studies needed to determine if rice hull smoke is safe enough
for food use.
scientists found that liquid smoke from rice hulls may be healthful.
Their tests on laboratory cell cultures found that liquid rice hull
smoke worked as an antioxidant that could help fight off diseases. It
also helped prevent inflammation, which is associated with many
different health problems did not trigger an allergic response.
food uses of a major agricultural byproduct may benefit the
environment, farmers, and consumers,” the report stated. “However, it is
necessary to demonstrate that rice hull smoke is safe. The present
study was designed to contribute to this assessment.”
The authors acknowledge funding from the Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea.
“Composition of Liquid Rice Hull Smoke and Anti-Inflammatory Effects in Mice”