The Council of Agriculture said its Kaohsiung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station has developed an electric rice cooker that can germinate brown rice within 18 hours.
Huang Te-chang (黃德昌), the station’s director, said soaking brown rice in water can activate its enzymes and make it germinate about 0.05cm to 0.1cm.
However, because the water needs to be changed regularly to prevent the rice from decaying, people are generally not interested in germinating rice at home despite the additional nutrition the process generates, he added.
“Germinated brown rice can produce nutrition, including gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), ferulic acid, inositol hexaphosphate (IP6), up to about 10 times of that of polished rice,” Huang said on Wednesday.
GABA can help people keep calm and resist panic, ferulic acid is an antioxidant and IP6 can help prevent atherosclerosis, the director said.
The research station developed an electric rice cooker that can help people more quickly and easily germinate brown rice because the appliance automatically changes the water and controls the temperature, which accelerates germination rates, Huang said.
The advantage of the rice cooker to consumers is that they can buy brown rice, which is usually sold at cheaper prices than germinated brown rice, but still get the benefits of the germinated product, he said.
After conducting repeated experiments, the cooker’s design has been finalized, and the station has already gained a patent for the appliance, Huang said
The station now hopes to transfer the technology to companies for commodification, he added.