Unmasked: Why you should always wash your rice

It's common to hear that washing rice is an essential step in achieving the perfect texture for your favorite dishes. However, a recent study may well change this perception.

Contrary to what chefs will tell you, this study has shown that the washing process has no effect on the stickiness (or hardness) of rice.

Washing rice, far from affecting its consistency, seems to have no influence on its texture. The origin of stickiness in rice lies not in excess starch, but in another type of substance, amilopectin, which is released during cooking.

The real reason to wash your rice: a story of plastic and arsenic

There are deeper reasons for washing rice, and surprisingly, they have more to do with our than with the texture of our favorite dish. The results of the study in question show that washing rice considerably reduces the presence of microplastics and arsenic.

“The washing process has been shown to remove up to 20% of plastics from raw rice.”

Whether raw or instant rice, washing rice can significantly reduce the presence of these undesirable particles. In addition, rice washing has been shown to remove around 90% of bioaccessible arsenic.

Rice washing: an essential tradition for a healthy diet

Historically, rice washing was used to remove excess dust, insects or residual hulls. Today, with the massive use of plastics in the supply chain, rice washing is of crucial health importance.

“Arsenic levels in rice vary according to where it's grown, rice varieties and how it's cooked. The best advice is still to pre-wash rice and make sure you eat a variety of grains.”

In short, washing rice is an essential practice not only to ensure optimal cooking, but above all to preserve our health by limiting our exposure to potentially harmful substances.

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