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Lactose-free health drink from rice
by Ladylyn Jose - Tuesday, 31 March 2020, 07:21 PM
www.philstar.com: March 8, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Isn’t it fascinating how rice – the most widely consumed staple food, when combined with soy, can turn into a nutrient-filled drink that is essential for the body?

Food nutritionists Riza AbilgosRamos and El Shaira Labargan from PhilRice Rice Chemistry and Food Science Division are pioneering Rice-Malt-and-Soy Beverage, a non-dairy health drink for children and an alternative drink for individuals with lactose intolerance.

Their study, “Rice-Based Complementary Foods and Beverage: Value-added products for enhanced nutrition and income among rice-based farm households,” rationalizes that non-dairy, ready-to-drink beverages can serve as an effective vehicle to deliver the nutritional needs of the body and may alleviate the persistent problem on undernutrition and lactose deficiency among school children.

Rice malt, also known as brown rice syrup, is nutritionally rich in natural sugar constituents, low in fat, significant source of fiber, complex carbohydrates, energy, and vitamins that make it an ideal food and beverage ingredient. Soy milk, on the other hand, is a cheaper source of protein and an ideal substitute of dairy products suitable for those who have the uncommon inability to digest milk sugar.

NSIC Rc 160, a rice variety that is found most suitable in making the product, undergoes three malting processes, which include steeping and germination.

The non-dairy health drink is formulated by 70 percent malt and 30 percent soy milk. This obtained an acceptable overall sensory profile. A 100-ml serving of the product can supply 64.5 percent kg calorie, 1g fat, 11.2g carbohydrates, and 2.4g protein needs of 3-to-12-year-old children.

Aside from the nutritional benefits of the beverage, Abilgos-Ramos noted that it was also developed to show women in rice-based farm households that rice-based products can be an additional source of income.

Results of a consumer evaluation test show that children aged 3-12 years old highly accepted the product while parents signified interest in buying it. The rice-malt-and-soy beverage is also comparable to the commercially available malt drink, making it highly appealing to consumers.

“We still have to conduct storage study for the product’s ready-to-drink form. We also hope to make a powdered/ instant variation that can at least have one-year shelf-life and in a convenient packaging,” the food nutritionist said.

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