Food and Nutrition Sciences, 2013, 4, 282-288 Published Online March 2013 (
Effect of Soaking Temperature on Physical and Functional
Properties of Parboiled Rice Cultivars Grown in
Temperate Region of India
Shabir Ahmad Mir, Sowriappan John Don Bosco*
Department of Food Science and Technology, Pondicherry University, Puducherry, India.
Email: *
Received January 2nd, 2013; revised February 2nd, 2013; accepted March 10th, 2013
The physical and functional properties of seven parboiled rice cultivars (Jehlum, K-332, Koshar, Pusa-3, SKAU-345,
SKAU-382 and SR-1) were investigated at different soaking temperatures of 60˚C, 70˚C and 80˚C and it was compared
with the brown raw rice of the respective cultivars. Parboiling was observed to decrease L* value and increase a* and
b* values. The hardness of rice was significantly increased after parboiling and varied among the cultivars with the
highest in Jehlum. Parboiling resulted in the decrease of pasting parameters with the increase in soaking temperature
from 60˚C to 80˚C. The pasting characteristics of parboiled rice sample showed the typical behaviour having high initial
viscosity, but lower peak viscosity in comparison to raw rice. The water absorption index and water solubility indices
were subsequently increased with the increase in soaking temperature.
Keywords: Rice; Parboiling; Hardness; Color; Pasting Properties
1. Introduction
Rice parboiling is a hydrothermal process consisting of
soaking, heating and drying operations modifying the
qualitative and processing behaviour of rice [1,2]. Soak-
ing is a hydration process in which the diffusion con-
trolled water uptake migrates into the rice kernel [3] and
subsequent heating leads to irreversible swelling and fu-
sion of starch granules. The starch granules are gelati-
nized and retrograded as a result various changes occur
in rice, which play an important role in the subsequent
processing operations, such as storage, milling, cooking
and in eating qualities [4].
With the spectrum of changes involved in parboiling,
the quality of parboiled rice is an important aspect to
examine so as to ensure that the end-quality of the prod-
uct fulfils the specific preferences by specific users. Par-
boiled rice is harder in texture and takes longer time to
cook than raw rice [5]. The proper interpretation of re-
sults of the rice processability indicators could provide a
new classification of rice cultivars fulfilling food indus-
try needs. From the industrial standpoint, it is a realistic
approach to simplify rice cultivars categorization in order
to control the rice quality.
Rice is an important starchy cereal crop having wider
applications for novel foods such as snack products, bev-
erages, puddings, processed meats, salad dressings and
gluten free breads [6] in addition to the cooked rice. The
hydrothermal treated flour may find utility in products
like soups and sauces due to low tendency to retrograde
[7]. These novel foods usually require rice flours of hav-
ing known functional properties, which are known to
influence the characteristics of food systems [8]. The
pasting profile is the most important characteristic and
has been used to predict the end-use quality of various
food products. On parboiling, considerable changes oc-
cur in the pasting parameters due to the order-disorder
transitions taking place at the molecular level [1,9].
India has different geographical areas with diverse cli-
matic conditions. Kashmir Valley lying in northern part
of India comprises the extreme western of Himalayas
(32.44˚N and 74.54˚E) and belongs to the temperate zone.
The cultivation of rice extends from the area having alti-
tude 1600 m above the mean sea level and grown only
once in year, because of the extreme climatic conditions.
Evaluation properties of parboiled rice lead to better un-
derstanding of the behaviour changes during the proc-
essing. Therefore, the objective of this investigation was
to evaluate and compare the effect of parboiling on
physical and functional properties of seven different rice
cultivars grown in Kashmir Valley.
*Corresponding author.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. FNS
Effect of Soaking Temperature on Physical and Functional Properties of
Parboiled Rice Cultivars Grown in Temperate Region of India
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Sample Procurement
Seven rice cultivars including Jehlum, K-332, Koshar,
Pusa-3, SKAU-345, SKAU-382 and SR-1, which are
prevalent in the temperate region of Kashmir Valley,
were obtained from Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agri-
culture Science and Technology, Shalimar, Jammu and
Kashmir, India. The grains were dried, cleaned manually
and foreign matters such as stones, straw and dirt were
removed. The dried and cleaned paddy samples were
dehusked in a THU-34A Stake Testing Rice Husker (Stake,
Japan) to obtain brown rice.
2.2. Preparation of Parboiled Brown Rice
Parboiling was done by soaking the paddy in hot water at
temperatures 60˚C, 70˚C and 80˚C ± 2˚C in thermostatic
water bath for 6 hours and dried in hot air oven at 40˚C.
The dried and cleaned paddy samples were dehusked in a
THU-34A Stake Testing Rice Husker (Stake, Japan) to
obtain parboiled brown rice. A portion of each sample
was ground into flour in a laboratory grain mill. The
whole kernels and flour samples were stored in polypro-
pylene pouches for further analysis.
2.3. Hydration
The water absorption characteristics of paddy was deter-
mined by taking 10 g of paddy sample of each cultivar
and placed in 250 ml of distilled water at three different
soaking temperatures of 60˚C, 70˚C and 80˚C. The sam-
ples were removed at predetermined time interval of 10
min up to 3 hrs. The soaked samples were blotted with
paper towels to remove residual surface moisture and
then reweighed. The increase in sample mass during
soaking in water was considered to be an increase in
moisture content of sample.
2.4. Color
The color of raw and parboiled brown rice were deter-
mined by CIE color scales L*, a* and b* using Hunter
Lab digital colorimeter (Model D25M, Hunter Associates
Laboratory, Reston, VA). Where L* indicates the degree
of lightness or darkness of the sample extended from 0
(black) to 100 (white), a* and b* indicates degree of
redness (+a) to greenness (a) and whereas b* indicates
the degree of yellowness (+b) to blueness (b) respec-
2.5. Hardness
Hardness of the rice grain was measured by using Tex-
ture Analyzer (TA-HD, Stable Micro Systems Ltd, Sur-
rey, UK). A single compression force-versus time pro-
gram was used to compress single rice grain along the
thickness at a test speed of 0.10 mm/sec and return to its
original position. The original clearance between the probe
and the base in load cell of the instrument was fixed at 8
mm, so that when the probe moved down it would com-
press the test sample kept horizontally on the base to a
distance of 0.500 mm. program was set to move the
probe at 1.0 mm/min in both pre-test and post-test phases.
A 5 mm diameter stainless steel probe (P/5) was used to
compress a single grain. The test was repeated 5 times
from the same sample lot, for all the seven cultivars. The
peak force indicated by the force time curve was taken as
the maximum compressive force/hardness.
2.6. Pasting Properties
The pasting characteristic of rice flour samples was de-
termined using Rapid Visco Analyzer (Starch master 2,
Newport Scientific Pty. Ltd, Warriewood, Australia). 3 g
of rice flour sample (13 g/100g moisture basis) was
weighed in RVA canister and 25 ml of water was added.
The prepared slurry in the canister was heated to 50˚C
and stirred at 160 rpm for 10 s to enable the complete
dispersion. The slurry was held to 50˚C for 1 min and
temperature was raised to 95˚C over 7.5 min. and then
held at 95 ˚C for 5 min. The slurry was then cooled at
50˚C in 7.5 min, and then held at 50˚C for 2 min. Pasting
parameters including peak viscosity (PV), viscosity at the
end of hold time at 95˚C or hot paste viscosity (HPV),
final viscosity (FV) at the end of cooling, breakdown
(BD = PV – HPV), setback (SB = FV – HPV) and past-
ing temperature were recorded.
2.7. Water Absorption Index (WAI) and Water
Solubility (WS)
For the measurement of WAI, 2.5 g of flour sample was
suspended in 30 ml distilled water in previously weighed
50 ml centrifuge tube, stirred intermittently over a 30
min period at 30˚C and then centrifuged at 3000 g for 10
min. After pouring the supernatant into a tarred evapo-
rating dish the gel was weighed. The WS was determined
from the amount of dry sample weight recovered by
evaporating the supernatant from flour water absorption
Wet sediment weight
Water absorption indexDry sediment weight
Dry supernatent weight
Water solubility100
Dry sample weight
2.8. Statistical Analysis
The date reported in all the tables is the average value of
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. FNS
Effect of Soaking Temperature on Physical and Functional Properties of
Parboiled Rice Cultivars Grown in Temperate Region of India
three replications. The data were analyzed statistically
using SPSS software (SPSS PASW 18.0) and the means
were separated using the Duncan’s multiple range test (P
3. Result and Discussion
3.1. Hydration
The water uptake content of varieties of paddy through-
out soaking at each of 60˚C, 70˚C and 80˚C for 3 hours at
10 minutes intervals is depicted in Figure 1. The rate of
water absorption was dependent on the temperature and
time of soaking. Higher the parboiling temperature,
higher the rate of water absorption was observed with the
similar pattern of hydration curves. For soaking at 60˚C,
the curves exhibited the typical moisture absorption be-
haviour with the rate of water absorption was initially
high followed by the slower absorption in later stages.
Figure 1. Hydration curve for paddy cultivars at (a) 60˚C;
(b) 70˚C; (c) 80˚C.
However, the soaking at 70˚C and 80˚C showed a rapid
increase in the hydration rate. Such an increase might be
due to the irreversible changes that occur in the starch
granules as a result of the gelatinization process. Among
varieties of cultivars, K-332, Koshar and Pusa-3 were
swelled considerably at 80˚C and showed the disrupted
structure with the breaking of hull of kernels, which en-
hanced the absorption rate. An increase in the turbidity of
soaking water was observed in some rice samples at 80˚C
due to the release of part of the endosperm components.
The variety difference in water absorption s may be due
to the differences in their microstructure [10]. The ob-
servation of variety difference in water absorption in the
present study could be supported by the variation among
Gallo, RP2 and PR116 varieties [11,12].
3.2. Color
Figure 2 shows the changes in the color of parboiled rice
Figure 2. Color values of raw and parboiled rice cultivars
(L*, a* and b*).
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. FNS
Effect of Soaking Temperature on Physical and Functional Properties of
Parboiled Rice Cultivars Grown in Temperate Region of India
of different cultivars in comparison to the color of raw
brown rice as described in terms of L*, a* and b* values.
There was a significant varietal difference in the color of
raw brown rice kernels of different cultivars as L* value
was observed to be higher in Jehlum and lower in Pusa-3
followed by SR-1, whereas a* value was higher for SR-1
(7.73) and lower for Jehlum (4.23) and b* value was
higher for Koshar (26.29) and lower in SKAU-382 (22.41).
The difference in color among variety of rice cultivars
could be attributed to the difference in genetic makeup,
colored pigments and composition of flour [2,13,14]. The
effect of parboiling with the increase in temperature dur-
ing soaking was observed to decrease the lightness (L*)
and increase the redness (a*) and yellowness (b*) of
brown rice of different varieties as reported in earlier
literature [15]. However, Koshar and Pusa-3 were ob-
served to have decreased b* at 80˚C of parboiling treat-
ment. Islam et al. [16] also reported that the lightness of
parboiled rice was mainly affected by the temperature
and the decreasing tendency was more at higher tem-
perature. The color change in rice grain is mainly caused
by maillard reaction, diffusion of husk pigments in the
endosperm during soaking and processing conditions in
parboiling which determines the intensity of color [1].
3.3. Hardness
Parboiling process results in a less insect infested product
and imparts hardening of the grains, which makes them
more resistant to breakage during milling. This in turn
leads to an increased yield, giving an economic advan-
tage to the process [16,17]. Figure 3 depicts the signifi-
cant increase in the hardness of different rice cultivars
steeped at 60˚C, 70˚C and 80˚C of parboiling process as
compared to the hardness of their raw rice samples.
Jehlum, which had the highest hardness (131.41 N) among
raw rice of different cultivars, was observed to have the
hardness increased to (163.71), and (177.79), (185.80 N)
with the increase in the temperature of soaking at 60˚C,
70˚C, 80˚C respectively. Similarly the lowest hardness
found in the raw rice of both the Koshar and K-332 cul-
Figure 3. Hardness of raw and parboiled rice cultivars.
tivars, was increased with the effect of parboiling com-
parable to each other (P 0.05). The variety difference in
the hardness of rice grains is due to the difference in the
compact arrangement of starch granules among rice cul-
tivars. The hardness in parboiled rice imparted to kernels
is accountable to the gelatinization process of starch and
adhesion between starch granules and protein bodies.
The swelling of starch completely heals the cracks and
chalkiness of rice grain and improve its hardness [18].
3.4. Pasting Properties
The effect of soaking temperature (60˚C, 70˚C and 80˚C)
on pasting properties determined by Rapid Visco Ana-
lyzer (RVA) is depicted in Figure 4. When compared to
the pasting profile of raw rice from different cultivars,
parboiling was observed to decrease the pasting profile
of samples resulting from the increase in damaged starch
to absorb the water content and decreased peak viscosity
resulting from the resistance of starch granules for swell-
ing due to the gelatinisation process takes place in par-
Raw sample of Jehlum showed the highest pasting pro-
file as compared to raw rice of other cultivars as shown
in Figure 4 with the highest peak viscosity (3373 cP),
final viscosity (6662 cP) and setback viscosity (3389 cP)
among the seven cultivars. When a sufficient number of
starch granules become swollen, a rapid increase in vis-
cosity occur known as peak viscosity. The peak Viscosity
is decreased among all the cultivars with subsequent in-
crease of soaking temperatures predominantly in Pusa-3
and Koshar. The extensive thermal breakdown of the
starch in the parboiled sample may have caused the very
low viscosity values. Pasting profile of flour has been
found to be influenced by its starch [19], protein [20],
lipid [21] contents and the degree of starch damage dur-
ing processing [22,23].
The setback values indicate the hardness of gel paste
upon cooling [24], which is indirect measurement of ret-
rogradation of starches [20]. The highest setback values
of raw rice were found in Jehlum cultivar (3289 cP),
where it decreased drastically to 1090 cP at 80˚C. Low
setback viscosity values of hydrothermally treated flour
samples indicated lesser tendency to retrograde or syn-
eresis upon cooling.
Breakdown viscosity, measure of the ease with which
the swollen granules can be disintegrated. Higher break-
down viscosity in starches can be attributed to higher
crystallinity and lower amylose content [25]. For raw rice,
the highest holding viscosity were observed in SKAU-
345 (2683 cP), whereas the lowest was in Pusa-3 (1483
cP). However, the breakdown viscosity ranged from 742
cP (K-332) to 149 cP in Pusa-3. The breakdown viscosity
decreased considerably with parboiling temperature with
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. FNS
Effect of Soaking Temperature on Physical and Functional Properties of
Parboiled Rice Cultivars Grown in Temperate Region of India
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. FNS
Figure 4. Pasting properties of raw and parboiled rice samples.
Table 1. Water absorption index (WAI) and water solubility
(WS) of raw and parboiled rice samples.
the lowest (2 cP) in the cultivar Pusa-3 at 80˚C. The de-
crease of breakdown viscosity might be due to the failure
of complete pasting and swelling of starch granules in-
duced by the reduction of water absorption of starch
granules [1]. The pasting temperature increased with in-
crease in parboiling treatments. The higher parboiling
treatment causes the increase in pasting temperature with
processing as reported by previous workers [26].
Cultivars TreatmentWAI WS
Raw 2.15 ± 0.12k 1.50 ± 0.14f
S60˚C 4.05 ± 0.27efg 2.33 ± 0.26de
S70˚C 4.16 ± 0.33cdefg 2.37 ± 0.21de
S80˚C 4.92 ± 0.31b 2.44 ± 0.14de
Raw 2.52 ± 0.21ijk 2.38 ± 0.25de
S60˚C 4.52 ± 0.41bcde 3.52 ± 0.17de
S70˚C 4.60 ± 0.15bcd 3.64 ± 0.29a
S80˚C 5.88 ± 0.38a 3.85 ± 0.25a
Raw 2.99 ± 0.13j 2.59 ± 0.21cde
S60˚C 4.42 ± 0.15bcdef 2.52 ± 0.21de
S70˚C 4.45 ± 0.23bcdef 2.52 ± 0.11de
S80˚C 5.93 ± 0.46a 2.92 ± 0.22bc
Raw 3.01 ± 0.21i 2.23 ± 0.19e
S60˚C 4.66 ± 0.33bc 3.15 ± 0.15b
S70˚C 4.79 ± 0.20b 3.18 ± 0.18b
S80˚C 5.59 ± 0.43a 3.66 ± 0.26a
Raw 2.62 ± 0.13ijk 2.48 ± 0.11de
S60˚C 3.67 ± 0.30gh 2.47 ± 0.08de
S70˚C 3.98 ± 0.43fgh 2.53 ± 0.22de
S80˚C 4.43 ± 0.26bcdef 2.64 ± 0.14cd
Raw 2.87 ± 0.17ij 1.77 ± 0.23f
S60˚C 3.52 ± 0.11h 2.43 ± 0.30de
S70˚C 3.66 ± 0.31gh 2.50 ± 0.25de
S80˚C 4.04 ± 0.22efg 2.53 ± 0.13a
Raw 2.41 ± 0.21jk 2.57 ± 0.18de
S60˚C 4.12 ± 0.23defg 3.58 ± 0.20a
S70˚C 4.23 ± 0.22cdef 3.61 ± 0.20a
S80˚C 4.47 ± 0.45bcdef 3.81 ± 0.21b
3.5. Waster Absorption Index and Water
Water absorption characteristics represent the ability of a
sample to reassociate with water under conditions where
water is limiting [14,27]. The variation in WAI and WS
among different rice cultivars are depicted in Table 1.
The results indicated the variety difference in WAI rang-
ing from 21.5 in Jehlum to 2.41% in Pusa-3 for raw rice
samples and found to be increased to 3.52% and 4.68%
at 60˚C, 3.68% and 4.60% at 70˚C and 4.01% to 5.92%
at 80˚C for parboiled Jehlum and Pusa-3 respectively.
This might be due to the more damaged starch present in
parboiled rice flour at different temperatures to imbibe
and hold more water.
However, after parboiling the solubility was also en-
hanced in all rice cultivars. Water solubility of raw rice
flour samples of different rice cultivars ranging from
1.50 to 2.60 was found to be varied from 2.44 to 3.85 at Values are expressed as mean ± standard deviation. Means having different
letters with in the same column differ significantly at P 0.05 (n = 5).
Effect of Soaking Temperature on Physical and Functional Properties of
Parboiled Rice Cultivars Grown in Temperate Region of India
80˚C of parboiling as solubility behaviour is highly im-
proved by various cooking treatment [28]. WAI and WS
were found increased due to the effect of parboiling in
the present study could be supported by the observations
of various cereal flours with an enhanced WAI, WS dur-
ing different processing conditions as shown in literature
[29,30], and the variation in raw flours of different rice
cultivars could be attributed to the varietal diversity in
different cultivars [13,14].
4. Conclusion
The study explored the effect of different soaking tem-
peratures on physical and functional properties of rice
cultivars. These changes differ by cultivars and subse-
quent parboiled conditions. Color values showed the
variation among the cultivars and darkness was increased
with the increase of soaking temperature. Higher soaking
temperatures increased the hardness value which will
help to increase the milling yield of rice. Pasting property
of rice samples substantially decreased by parboiling
with severe decrease at 80˚C. Changes in water absorp-
tion index and water solubility properties were pro-
nounced at different parboiling temperatures, which can
be exploited in new product development application.
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