Limited research exists on how different oil types and time of addition affect starch digestibility of rice. This study aimed to assess the starch digestibility of white and red rice prepared with 2 oil types: vegetable oil (unsaturated fat) and ghee (clarified butter, saturated fat) added at 3 different time points during the cooking process ("before": frying raw rice in oil before boiling, "during": adding oil during boiling, and "after": stir-frying cooked rice in oil). Red rice produced a slower digestion rate than white rice. White rice digestibility was not affected by oil type, but was affected by addition time of oil. Adding oil "after" (stir-frying) to white or red rice resulted in higher slowly digestible starch. Red rice cooked using ghee showed the lowest amount of glucose release during in vitro digestion. The addition of ghee "during" (that is boiling with ghee) or "before" (that is frying rice raw with ghee then boiling) cooking showed potential for attenuating the postprandial glycemic response and increasing resistant starch content. This is the first report to show healthier ways of preparing rice. White rice with oil added "after" (stir-fried) may provide a source of sustained glucose and stabilize blood glucose levels. Boiling red rice with ghee or cooking red rice with ghee pilaf-style may provide beneficial effects on postprandial blood glucose and insulin concentrations, and improve colonic health. The encouraging results of the present study justify extending it to an in vivo investigation to conclusively determine the effect of time of addition of fat when rice is cooked on blood glucose homeostasis.
Practical application: Rice is a predominant source of energy in most of Asia with excessive consumption of rice being implicated in the rise of type 2 diabetes. Stir-frying white rice can be a source of sustained glucose and provide a stabilizing effect on blood glucose levels. Boiling red rice with ghee or cooking red rice with ghee pilaf-style may provide beneficial effects on postprandial blood glucose and insulin concentrations. This suggests how a single technique of adding fat in the cooking of rice at certain time points may be a useful method in providing taste and lowering glycemia.
Keywords: cooking; diabetes; digestible starch; glycemic response; in vitro; oil type; rice; starch.
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