Abstract: In this study, an attempt was made to fortify white milled rice grains with phenolic compounds using a hydrothermal process and spearmint aqueous extracts of different % w/v concentrations. In addition, a mathematical model was acquired in order to simulate the diffusion of specific phenolic acids in rice kernels during boiling inside the extracts. Results showed that the amount of phenolic acids in rice, the potential equilibrium concentration values, as well as the diffusivity of these compounds in rice material were positively affected by the increase in % w/v bulk concentration of the aqueous extract. It was also shown that the diffusion process could be sufficiently described by a Fickian model and the estimated diffusion coefficients ranged from 6.86 × 10 −12 to 3.56 × 10 −11 m 2/s, with the p-coumaric acid presenting the highest average diffusivity in boiling rice material among all examined compounds. The chemical affinity of each phenolic acid to rice macromolecules was believed to play the most important role concerning their diffusivity in rice during fortification process. Practical Application: Consumer's interest for functional food products is constantly growing during the last decades. This study may act as preliminary for the production of fortified rice products, possessing adjusted bioactive content, in industrial scale. The proposed methodology for the production of quick-cooking or ready-to-eat fortified rice may be adopted by rice industries and applied by only making slight modifications in their existing parboiling units.
- hydrothermal process