In the fourth most read science story of 2015, FoodNavigator's Science Editor Nathan Gray reported on a novel cooking and cooling process for rice that could help slash the number of calories absorbed by the body by more than half by increasing levels of resistant starch. The relatively simple cooking method could help families and food manufacturers increase resistant starch (RS) in staple food products – meaning that less of the rice is digested and fewer calories are absorbed.
"Because obesity is a growing health problem, especially in many developing countries, we wanted to find food-based solutions," said Sudhair A. James from the College of Chemical Sciences in Colombo, Sri Lanka. "We discovered that increasing rice resistant starch (RS) concentrations was a novel way to approach the problem."
James explained that the simple cooking method can make a big difference because oil enters the starch granules during cooking, changing its architecture so that it becomes resistant to the action of digestive enzymes. This means that fewer calories ultimately get absorbed into the body.