Use of excess water in cooking of rice is a well-studied short-term arsenic removal technique. However, the outcome on the nutritional content of rice is not well addressed. We determined the benefit of different cooking techniques on arsenic removal and the associated risk of losing the essential elements in rice. Overall, we found 4.5%, 30%, and 44% decrease in the arsenic content of rice when cooked with rice-to-water ratios of 1:3, 1:6 (p
= 0.004), and 1:10 (parboiling; p
< 0.0001), respectively. All the essential elements (except iron, selenium, and copper) incurred a significant loss when rice was cooked using the 1:6 technique: potassium (50%), nickel (44.6%), molybdenum (38.5%), magnesium (22.4%), cobalt (21.2%), manganese (16.5%), calcium (14.5%), selenium (12%), iron (8.2%), zinc (7.7%), and copper (0.2%) and further reduction was observed on parboiling, except for iron. For the same cooking method (1:6), percentage contribution to the recommended daily intake (RDI) of essential elements was highest for molybdenum (154.7%), followed by manganese (34.5%), copper (33.4%), selenium (13.1%), nickel (12.4%), zinc (10%), magnesium (8%), iron (6.3%), potassium (1.8%), and calcium (0.5%). Hence, cooked rice as a staple is a poor source for essential elements and thus micronutrients.
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