Functional carbs: FANCL releases retort sprouted brown rice claiming to suppress sugar and fat absorption
It is a pre-cooked sprouted brown rice product marketed as a product for people concerned about their post-meal blood sugar and triglyceride levels.
Rice is a carbohydrate-rich food however this product is made from glutinous barley and sprouted brown rice formulated with a functional ingredient, indigestible dextrin (5g) - a source of dietary fibre.
FANCL, which is more widely known for its dietary supplements and cosmetics, also markets rice products. The firm has an existing sprouted rice range including rice cake, rice porridge, but this is its first FFC labelled rice product.
According to Toshihiro Tomita, spokesperson for FANCL, the amount of rice cooked in home settings has been on the downwards trend, contributed by changes in eating habits and increase in dual-income households.
“However, the market for retort packaged rice is expanding due to its convenience and the need for individual meals.”
“We developed this product by mixing highly nutritious sprouted rice and glutinous barley with indigestible dextrin to support the dietary habits of health-conscious people without the hassle of cooking,” Tomita told FoodNavigator-Asia.
Coming in individual packs (140g), it can be heated in the microwave for two minutes. Each pack contains 214kcal, 49g of carbohydrate, 4.9g of protein and 1.7g of fat.
Sprouted or germinated rice is rice that is unpolished and allowed to germinate to improve flavour, texture as well as increase its natural nutrients such as γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Sprouting as a process makes nutrients more bioavailable.
Ingestible dextrin is an ingredient supported by claims of suppressing the rise of blood sugar and triglyceride levels after meals.
It is one of three most commonly found ingredients among FFC products in Japan, according to a recent report by Japan-based health foods consultancy firm Smooth Link.
Besides ingestible dextrin, sprouted brown rice also contains natural nutrients such as GABA, and phytonutrients like ferulic acid and gamma oryzanol.
Oryzanol, mostly found in rice bran oil, has been studied in animal models for its ability to reduce inflammation, obesity and oxidative stress, according to Salina Akter et al (2020).
Ferulic acid is studied for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antidiabetic properties, as explained by Zduńska K et al (2018).
The firm is hoping to target consumers above 50 years with high blood sugar and triglyceride levels.
The product will be sold through mail order and FANCL’s directly managed stores. It retails for JPY$896 (US$8.40) for three packs.