The rice balls are made from corn, soybeans, corn starch and rice meal, and they taste like a bag of rice and are healthier than the brand-name versions, according to a new study by a leading nutritionist.
A typical bowl of rice ball will have 6 teaspoons of starch, 1 tablespoon of protein and 1 tablespoon sugar, according a study by University of California, Irvine professor Robert Calhoun.
The rice ball contains about 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams sugar per serving, compared to about 12 grams of carbs and 4 grams protein per serving for the store-brand version, Calhoun wrote in a study published in the Journal of Food Protection.
Rice balls, made from the starch of corn, are one of the easiest to digest and contain only about 1 gram of starch per serving.
They’re also less likely to cause digestive problems such as gas, bloating or diarrhea than the rice products of other brands, Calhern said.
“Rice ball-making is a very, very simple process, and the results are really quite impressive,” Calhoun said.
“I’d love to see the industry adopt this approach, and make it easier to make rice balls.”
“You can get a good, high-quality meal for less money,” he added.
For years, some companies have made their rice balls from a variety of grains and grains, such as corn, wheat, barley and rice, with different amounts of starch.
But in recent years, a growing number of companies have taken a more traditional approach.
One major new rice-making process is using a grain such as soybeans or corn to make the ball, said Robert Gentry, an associate professor of agricultural engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Gentry, who wasn’t involved in the study, said a similar process is being used by a number of major food companies.
A typical bag of white rice will have around 5 teaspoons of protein, 1 gram per serving and 4 teaspoons of carbohydrates, Gentry said.
But the same amount of starch can be found in a bag that contains about 8 tablespoons of rice, he said.
That’s the amount of sugar in the rice balls.
Calhoun, who is also a professor of nutritional sciences at the California Institute of Technology, is the lead author on the study.
The researchers analyzed more than 9,500 rice balls for the study and used the method developed by Calhoun, Gerson and their colleagues to determine the rice-ball nutritional profile.
The researchers found that the grain products are higher in protein and lower in carbs, and that the starch in the balls was higher in sugar than in starch in most rice products.
They also found that rice balls had about 25 percent more fiber and 7 percent more sugar than the average rice ball, Genson said.
The study, “Rice-ball-making from grain products,” was published in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
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