August 4/Milan, Italy/Chemical & Chemistry -- "The production of a rice malt that could be used as an ingredient in gluten-free foodstuffs, especially for brewing purposes, was studied. Different rice varieties were characterized through morphological description and chemical physical analyses," scientists in Milan, Italy, report.
"Each rice variety was germinated in the laboratory in jute bags for different periods. To produce a rice malt with a good diastatic power, steeping and airing conditions, as well as time and temperature during germination, were studied. The endogenous enzymatic activities, which developed during the malting process and which characterize the diastatic power of the obtained rice malts, were also measured. The conditions of the malting process and the drying step were checked and optimized to produce rice malt with the desired color and aroma. Once the most efficient malting procedure had been chosen, the most suitable rice variety underwent the germination and kilning process in a pilot plant. Some saccharification tests were performed in the laboratory to verify the sugar content of worts obtained from the produced rice malts and whether they could be successfully fermented," wrote E.L.M. Ceppi and colleagues, University of Milan.
The researchers concluded, "The results showed that a good rice malt could be obtained, even if it has a lower enzymatic activity than barley malt."
Ceppi and colleagues published their study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry ("Experimental Studies To Obtain Rice Malt." Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2010;58(13):7701-7707).
For more information, contact O.V. Brenna, University of Milan, Dept. of Food Science & Microbiology, Via Celoria 2, I-20133 Milan, Italy.
From the August 16, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition