Rice flour is a very common ingredient today. So common that practically all of us have consumed it even if unknowingly, the applications of rice flour make it an indispensable ingredient for the food industry and an element widely used in domestic cooking.
Rice flour is the result of grinding the healthy and clean grain of this cereal, resulting in a change in its physical properties that give it new uses and applications, but maintaining the same nutritional characteristics as those of the rice from which it is obtained . These nutritional properties of rice (and consequently also of flour) have made this cereal a staple in world food, being the second most cultivated one(after wheat). According to FAO in 2013, 747 million tons were produced, figures that reflect the importance of rice in the human diet. Of the 180 million hectares of rice cultivation in the world, only 475,000 are in the European Union, Spain taking second place in this European ranking.
In Harinas Climent we only use nationally grown rice, which assures us several things. On the one hand it comes from trusted and close farmers that allow us to monitor the crop and harvest it later. They also guarantee that the process is carried out under strict standards regarding the use of fertilizers and other chemicals. Knowing its origin and sharing our same legal framework we have the guarantee that the product we grind is of exceptional quality.
How is it obtained?
Producing flour is grinding but it’s not just that. In Harinas Climent, from receiving the raw material until it is packaged, the product does not have direct contact with the operator, thus avoiding possible alterations. In addition, the critical points are identified in the production chain and reviewed in a standardized and periodic manner allowing us to identify possible problems before they occur.
Once the raw material is received, it goes through a series of screens that ensure its purity. Once this first control is over, the rice is ground, going through different processes, screens, classifications and trailers that ensure that the product obtained meets the requirements to be considered as Climent Extrafine Rice. Before moving to packaging, it is circulated through a safety sieve that guarantees that the powder we are going to pack has all the qualities, composition and requirements that have made us leaders in the sector.
What are their Characteristics?
The first important characteristic of rice flour is the absence of gluten, this makes it suitable for consumption for celiacs or people with gluten sensitivity. In Harinas Climent we only grind rice which eliminates the slightest possibility of cross contamination.
Extrafine rice is a product with a high energy index (351 Kcal). Its most important component is carbohydrates (80%), followed by proteins (7%) containing only 1% fat. This contribution of carbohydrates is made in the form of starch so it is very suitable for people with diabetes since this type of sugar is metabolized slowly, ensuring a continuous supply thus minimizing the risk of hypoglycemia. It is also a highly recommended food for cardiovascular health because of its very low fat and cholesterol content, as well as sodium. It is therefore an essential part of the diet of hypertensive people. It also provides a high content of minerals such as calcium and iron and vitamins (niacin, vitamin D, thiamine and riboflavin). In short, rice flour is a recommended food for everyone, but especially for celiacs, diabetics, hypertensives or people with cardiovascular problems.
Due to the way in which we grind the rice, we also manage to add two very important properties to all of the above: Very low humidity and an extra-fine grain size. Making our rice flour behave optimally in the uses given by our customers.
Harina de arroz
100% libre de gluten.
Harina de arroz
Rica en hidratos de carbono, hierro, calcio y vitaminas.
Harina de arroz
Un excelente agente extensor.
Harina de arroz
Ampliamente utilizada como espesante.
Harina de arroz
Un estabilizador 100% natural.
What uses and applications does it have?
Rice flour has many uses, both domestically and industrially. It is not only used as part of food products. The cosmetic industry has been using it for a long time as a base for some preparations and as an additive in talcum powder (by itself it is already a highly recommended desiccant for sensitive skin). It is also used in soaps and masks being a very popular natural scrub. It is also part of some preparations for skin tanning.
At food level its uses multiply and new ones appear every year discovering new properties. Rice flour is one of the basic ingredients for cookies, cakes and breads. Apart from providing many qualities that other flours cannot provide, because of its absence of gluten, it is one of the basic components of food for celiacs or people with gluten sensitivity. For as long as can be remembered, it has been used to make tempura and batter, given its low capacity to absorb oil deriving in a crunchy and much less caloric outer layer than the wheat flour equivalent.
Recently, in 2002, a group of Swedish scientists discovered the appearance of high amounts of acrylamide in carbohydrate-rich foods when cooked at high temperatures. Everything indicates that acrylamide could be an important carcinogen and there are many scientific initiatives investigating the issue. Chemist Fred F. Shih of ARS and his team determined that the amount of acrylamide could be reduced by 60% by changing wheat flour to rice flour in the samples that were subjected to a certain frying time. Thus, making tempura or batter with rice flour, apart from all the organoleptic properties that it confers, is much healthier from a medical point of view.
Rice flour is also used as an extender agent. A spreading agent is a product that is used to replace one part of another without thereby reducing the nutritional qualities of the final result. Thus, rice flour is used as an extender, for example in the meat industry. Although possibly its best known quality in the industry is its ability to thicken sauces, meat preparations, chocolates, soluble etc. Thus, both in the domestic kitchen and in the food industry, it is widely used as a natural gluten-free thickener. A thickening agent is one that manages to increase the viscosity of a product without significantly changing both the taste and other properties.
Its exceptional nutritional properties have meant that specialists in infant nutrition have included rice flour in many of the breakfast cereals, porridge and other foods for little ones. Of course it is also part of many of the cereal preparations for adults. It is also used in the preparation of aperitives and snacks, as a base ingredient, which mixed with other cereals and then extruded, give rise to pasta for frying. In this same industry it is also used to achieve the adhesion of salt in sunflower seeds.
In drinks and food in a liquid state, it is sometimes used as the main ingredient thereof and at other times as a stabilizing agent. A stabilizing agent is one that manages to mix ingredients that would not do so naturally or that after a while would separate. There are many stabilizers but rice flour appears to be a very interesting option because it is natural and gluten free.
Rice flour is also able to achieve the absence of caking or sticking of some foods. Thus its use is well known so that the doughs do not adhere to molds or surfaces, but it is not so much that, for example, the much appreciated dried figs manage not to get crushed thanks to the rice flour.
We will end with a very curious use, and that is that rice flour allows us to make a type of edible paper with potential uses in creative cooking.
So as we anticipated at the beginning, rice flour is a very important element in human food and that all of us, in one way or another, have ever consumed. Not having done so would have meant giving up endless applications and healthy properties.