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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I choose unpolished brown rice over polished white rice?

1) The colour of good health

There are big differences in nutrition between brown and white rice. Here's a useful tip: - Pick a grain of white rice and take a good look. White rice grains have their sharp corners rounded off during milling, polishing and whitening processes. The better nutrients of the rice grains are found in those parts that were removed. You see, the outer coat layer of the grains (called the bran), and the germ (also called the embryo) are removed, leaving behind only the endosperm. The processing of brown rice involves only the removal of the husks, leaving the bran, germ and endosperm intact. Tests and analyses conducted by the US FDA shows that the bran and germ stores abundant nutrients such as protein, fibre, calcium, vitamin B complex, plant-based fat, vitamins, and minerals. Therefore, brown rice is considered the better rice, because in addition to carbohydrates and protein that are provided by white rice, it will also provide vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, plant lipids and phyto-nutrients such as Inositol, Oryzanol, and Phytosterols. On a gram by gram basis, unpolished brown rice provides better nutrition than polished white rice, and is therefore a healthier choice.

2) A day's nourishment needs in Brown Rice

Nothing compares to brown rice in terms of nutritional value. Nutritional experts ask us to consider two conditions when we choose our staple food - those rich in nutrition to satisfy our body's daily needs; and those that can be stored for consumption whenever we need to. Only brown rice can fulfil these 2 requirements.

How do I cook rice?

There are different types of rice, and each type has a specific cooking method to bring out the best results. These steps will help you prepare most types of rice from our product ranges.

Should I rinse the rice before cooking it?

Rinsing or washing rice is optional based on your taste. Rinsing removes some nutrients as well as some of the starch components of the grains. It also removes some “unpleasant” flavour and odour. To do this, you can add water to the rice and rub the rice in your hands lightly. Drain the milky water. Repeat once or twice or till the water is clear.

Where can I buy JATI or ecoBrown’s rice?

You can find our products in all major hypermarkets such as Giant, Tesco, Carrefour, Jusco, Cold Storage, Mydin, Pacific and The Store Group. Jati brand rice and ecoBrown’s are also available in most retail outlets and sundry shops. Please contact our customer service line (1800 88 7423) to enquire about a store in your area.

Where can I buy ecoBrown’s beverage or cereal?

Our beverage and cereal lines are available in the Guardian, Giant, Cold Storage, The Store Group, Pacific hypermarkets and Jusco.

Why is the sodium content within brown rice lower than white rice?

Sodium intake is of concern to people with high blood pressure. Brown rice contains higher fibre (10%) within its bran layer than white rice, which helps to reduce the proportion of sodium.

How long does it take for the paddy to mature?

Generally, the maturation period of the paddy plant varies according to the variety and also the climatic conditions. Modern high yielding varieties planted in the major granary regions in Malaysia’s will mature in 105 to 125 days from sowing to harvesting. Rice plant will mature faster in dry field and under hot weather conditions. Traditional varieties such as hill paddy planted in Sabah and Sarawak will take about 135-160 days to mature

Can we consume rice bran?

Rice bran is generally used in the making of animal feeds. This is because rice bran is easily contaminated during the polishing process. Therefore it needs to go through a very stringent quality treatment before it can be safe for human consumption. However, oil extracted from rice bran is of high quality and is available in some supermarkets as Rice Bran Oil.

How do you dispose off the rejects such as green or immature grains and dark brown rice grains (over-ripe rice) after the milling and sorting by colour-sorter machine?

These rejected brown rice grains are classified as low-grade rice which will be sold to feed mills or animal farms as livestock food.

Does brown rice contain glucose? Why is it better for diabetics and overweight people to eat brown rice?

Brown rice has a higher fibre content compared to white rice. Brown rice promotes early satiety and maintains the feeling of fullness for a longer period of time. Consumption of brown rice will lead to reduced craving for food with high glycemic index and is therefore an important component of any healthy dietary regime.

What do you do with the rice husks?

Rice husk is a by product of rice milling. Because of escalating energy prices, it is now used as fuel in boilers to generate heat and electricity for use in the rice mills. Burnt husks have several uses. It can be used to coat salted eggs, as an ingredient in making organic fertilizer (due to its high potash and other minerals content). Rice mill without boilers will generally sell their husks to mills that have a boiler.

Does the rice still contain moisture after the drying process?

Yes, it does. Approximately 10-12% of moisture is retained. Rice can be broken easily during milling if it contains less than 10% of moisture. However, the equilibrium moisture of rice is 14%. If the rice is under dried (>14%), it will lose its moisture to the atmosphere, whilst over-dried rice (<14%) will absorb moisture gradually over time.

How long is the drying process?

The normal drying process takes about 24 hours, which is dependant on the initial moisture content (wetness) of the incoming paddy. If the moisture content is more than 25%, it will take about 24-26 hours to dry the paddy grains to the safe moisture content (about 10-12%) for long term storage. In the dry season, paddies that are harvested contain only about 20% moisture or lower. Therefore, the drying time will only take around 18 hours.

Burning process generates smoke (pollution). How does the European drying technique (COGEN) still be declared as eco-friendly?

The European Drying System (COGEN) has been recognized as eco-friendly because it recycles rice husk (a by-product) to replace diesel (a limited resource) to generate heat for grain drying. The burning of rice husks is controlled by a computerised system to supply sufficient oxygen for a complete combustion to minimize smoke emission. The heat is then used to generate steam under pressure to dry the wet paddy grains. The COGEN Drying System is also adopted to generate electricity for use in the rice mill, thus reducing the demand for electricity supply.

Which type of unpolished rice has more health benefits, red rice or local brown rice?

Both unpolished red rice and brown rice have similar superior nutrition properties than white rice. However, red rice contains Antocyanin which is an antioxidant that is able to remove cancer-causing free radicals in the human body cells.

Isn’t brown rice more hazardous compared to white rice because the husks have been removed? And is it true that the bran retained in brown rice increases the chance of contamination with pesticides during the crop spraying?

Generally, pesticides will be degraded (broken down) into harmless residue about 10-30 days after it has been sprayed on the crop. The period between the last pesticide spray and harvest of the treated crop is called the Pre Harvest Interval (PHI). Generally, rice farmers will not spray pesticides after the rice crop has flowered (the Heading stage). Rice plant will take 30-35 days from flowering to maturation (harvest); these 30-35 days are more than PHI of most pesticides. Thus rice grown in Malaysia is generally safe for consumption. The Malaysian Pesticides Board works with many Agencies in the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry to promote the judicious use of the agricultural chemicals, i.e. right chemicals for the right pests at the right dosage, spray before PHI. This reduces the contamination problem. Furthermore, the Department of Agriculture also promotes the practise of Integrated Pest Management that allows the natural predators to control pests, using chemical spray as a last resort. All these measures make brown rice safe for consumption.

Does fragrant rice contain artificial essence?

Fragrant rice is made from the fragrant rice variety called Khaw Hom Mali grown in Thailand. This variety produces an aromatic chemical similar to that produced in pandan leaves called acetyl-1-pyroline. This fragrance is naturally produced by the rice plant and enhanced by the soil and cold night temperature where the fragrant rice varieties are grown in North East of Thailand. Our fragrant rice is imported from Thailand without any tempering of the natural fragrance with artificial essence.

Can fragrant rice be planted in Malaysia?

Yes it can. But generally fragrant rice yields lower than normal rice. Rice farmers in Malaysia will prefer high yielding conventional varieties unless the fragrant paddy is bought at a much higher premium price. From the national standpoint, our country is only 70% self sufficient in rice and therefore emphasis is still on breeding of high yielding variety instead of fragrant rice. However, Mardi has produced 2 fragrant varieties recently, i.e. MRQ 50 (frangrant variety with Basmati like elongation property) and MYQ 74.

Planting of fragrant variety requires a cooperation of farmers and rice mills to produce sufficient quantity for economic milling and marketing. Unless there is a concerted effort from all parties, no individual farmers will plant fragrant rice.

What is the difference between glutinous and white rice?

Glutinous rice has low amylose and high amylopectin contents. Hence, glutinous rice is more sticky (viscosity). White rice has about 20%-28% amylose which makes the cooked rice less sticky.

Is it bad for our health to eat too much glutinous rice?

Glutinous rice contains high content of amylopectin that have a larger molecular structure. It yields higher amount of calories due to the high amount of glucose which increases the overall blood sugar level in the body. Frequent consumption of glutinous rice is not good for health due to its high content of starch that is harder to digest.

What is parboiled rice? Is the nutritional content of parboiled rice higher than brown rice?

Parboiled rice is made from paddy that has been boiled under high pressure steam before drying and milling. The par-boiling process enables the nutrients, mainly vitamins, minerals and phyto-nutrients from the bran and germ layers to be infused into the starch of the endosperm. Therefore parboiled rice has similar nutritional benefits as brown rice. It has about 80% of the nutrients of brown rice. However, parboiled rice does not contain fibre as it is lost during the milling process