Black rice
Adding black rice extracts to bread leads to slower digestion and improved blood glucose control, according to a study in Singapore.

SINGAPORE — Adding anthocyanins, a plant pigment, could make food products more diabetic-friendly, according to scientists from the National University of Singapore. They added anthocyanins extracted from black rice to bread, which was digested at a slower rate, improving blood glucose control.

“Despite their antioxidant capacity and associated health benefits, the knowledge of using anthocyanins as an ingredient in food products, particularly semi-solid products, is very limited,” said Zhou Weibiao, Ph.D., director of the Food Science and Technology Program at the National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Science. “Hence, we wanted to explore the feasibility of fortifying anthocyanins into bread to understand how it affects digestibility and its impact on the various quality attributes of bread.”

When 1% of anthocyanin extracted from black rice was added into the bread dough and baked at 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit), the digestion rate of the bread dropped by 12.8%. When the amount of anthocyanin was added at 4%, the digestion rate dropped to 20.5%.

Anthocyanins are responsible for the orange, red, violet and blue colors found in nature. Fruits like blueberries, grapes and blackberries contain anthocyanins as do grains and vegetables such as black rice and purple sweet potatoes.

Results of the National University of Singapore study appeared in the October issue ofFood Chemistry.