YAMAGATA, JAPAN: Researchers have found a way to improve rice flour that not only serves as an alternative to wheat flour for those with wheat intolerance, but could also help to alleviate future global food problems, said Dr Yayoi Onda, a researcher from Yamagata University, Japan.
Conventional rice flour was studied and when researchers modified its proteins, it produced dough and bread of a quality superior to that obtained from ‘normal’ rice flour.
As rice flour typically does not make for better dough and bread than wheat flour, researchers studied ways to improve the rice flour so as to overcome this limitation. In changing the amount, structures and properties of seed storage proteins, it was found that rice flour deficient in a protein PDIL1;1 during seed development could produce dough with ideal characteristics.
“This improved the quality and efficiency of the dough and the bread,” said Dr Onda. The improved rice flour also overcomes other issues associated with conventional rice flour, such as being less sticky, able to be stretched more easily, an ability to hold bubbles within the dough during fermentation and baking, and an increased elastic texture in bread following baking.
Breeding experiments have begun so that the PDIL1;1-deficient rice plants can be grown widely under different climatic conditions, shared Dr Onda.