New Study Suggests That Pre-Washing Rice Does Not Reduce Stickiness

Pre-Washing Rice

Photo: belchonock/Depositphotos

If you cook rice regularly, then you've probably been told to pre-wash it. While this is a good practice to rinse off potential dust and remaining hull, some culinary experts also recommend washing to reduce hardness or stickiness in your rice. Well, according to a new study, pre-washing grains does not affect the result.

The experiment was conducted with three varieties of rice: glutinous rice, medium grain rice, and jasmine rice. All types underwent the same pre-washing conditions before being cooked. While rinsing the uncooked rice removed free starch from the milling process, the researchers found that it did not affect the inner structure of the rice grains. As a result, the prepared rice displayed the same stickiness properties regardless of whether it was pre-washed or not. This is because the stickiness is attributed to a starch called amylopectin, which is leached out of rice during the cooking process. As a result, the researchers found that the stickiness qualities were due to the variety of rice in question. In the case of this experiment, glutinous rice was found to be the stickiest.

Although this study suggests that pre-washing holds no bearing on the texture of cooked rice, that does not mean that it is a useless practice. In addition to cleaning the rice grains from lingering husk, stones, and even insects, rinsing can also reduce microplastics by 40%. Not only that but depending on where the rice is grown, it can also contain high levels of arsenic. A pre-washing routine will help lower your risk for exposure to these different factors.

A new study suggests that pre-washing rice does not reduce stickiness or hardness.

Serving Rice

Photo: NewAfrica/Depositphotos

Rather, the stickiness comes down to the variety of rice—like glutinous rice and jasmine rice.

Different Types of Rice

Photo: belchonock/Depositphotos

However, pre-washing rice is still a good practice for reducing dust and microplastics.

Serving Rice

Photo: akvafoto2012/Depositphotos

h/t: [IFL Science]

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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