Japanese scientists have found that soaking brown rice for a day before it is cooked may be an inexpensive and easy way to turbo-charge the nutritional value of this staple food. Dr. Hiroshi Kayahara a professor of bio-science and biotechnology at Shinshuu University in Nagano said in a statement that soaking the rice stimulates the early stages of germination, when a tiny sprout, less than a millimetre tall, grows from the grain.
"The birth of a sprout activates dormant enzymes in the brown rice all at once to supply the best nutrition to the growing sprout,"
Kayahara presented his group's research Study at the 2000 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies in Hawaii that sprouted rice contains more fibre, vitamins and minerals than non-germinated rice. The germinated rice also contains triple the amount of lysine, an amino acid needed for the growth and repair of tissues, and 10 times more gamma-aminobutyric acid, which can benefit the kidneys. Within the sprouts, the research team also identified a chemical that blocks the action of prolylendopeptidase. This enzyme regulates activity in the central nervous system. The researchers soaked the brown rice in warm water for 22 hours to make it sprout. The sprouted rice is not only enriched, it is also easier to cook because the hard outer husk has been softened and it tastes sweeter. White rice will not sprout when soaked.