Cereal chemistry lab to determine cooking quality

Frances Gould, Schultz, Bruce  |  1/13/2014 10:21:58 PM

LSU AgCenter rice researcher Dr. Ida Wenefrida is setting up a cereal chemistry lab at the Rice Research Station to help its breeding program determine if rice lines have desired cooking qualities.

The lab will test for amylose content, gelatinization temperature and viscosity.

Rice with high amylose content is less sticky, such as most long-grain rice. Viscosity is related to the rice thickness and glossy appearance, and the gelatinization temperature determines grain firmness after cooking.

The lab will be able to analyze 200 samples a day, Wenefrida said, which will provide quicker turnaround time than what is offered by commercial labs.

By being able to analyze rice in-house, rice breeders will have better opportunities to evaluate their lines quickly and in greater numbers to decide if lines under development will perform as well in the kitchen as in the fields, Wenefrida explained.

"Once we have this cereal chemistry lab, we can cut the turnaround time in the breeding program," she said.

The LSU AgCenter scientist said genetic markers can be associated with cooking characteristics, and that knowledge also will assist breeders in their selection processes.

(This article was published in the 2014 Louisiana Rice Research Board Annual Report.)

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