Brown Rice Syrup is a natural sweetener produced by fermenting cooked brown rice.
In appearance it is usually a thick syrup, light brown in color, having a pleasant mildly sweet flavor, with a hint of caramel and butter. It is about half as sweet as honey.
It can be used as a general sweetener and in cooking. It is vegan, unlike honey, and can be used instead of it. It has a lower glycemic index than sugar but diabetics will need to carefully count it as part of their regulated carbohydrate intake.
It contains minerals such as magnesium and potassium and some B vitamins. It is a natural product and does not contain any chemicals. Fermentation is traditionally done with natural enzymes derived from sprouted barley. It is reputed to have a lower glycemic index than table sugar. However it contains about 40% maltose (by dry weight) which has a glycemic index of 105. This may call into question it's reported glycemic index of 25.
It mostly consists of two sugars, maltotriose and maltose and should be taken in moderation. Although it has a lower glycemic index than sugar it is far less sweet. Consequently, if it is used as a sweetener, more will be required, with a resultant glycemic load close to sugar, and a greater calorie count. Like all sugars it is harmful to teeth if taken to excess.
It is made from made from brown rice. This is cooked with sprouted barley to break down the long carbohydrate chains into sugars. This liquid is then boiled down to the required consistency.
Sold as a syrup, usually in jars like molasses or honey. Usually only available is specialty health food shops or on line.
Brown rice syrup is a natural product, and is not refined in any way. However it is usually filtered at the end of the process which probably removes fibre and other valuable nutrients contained in the grain. It goes without saying that brown rice is better for your health than the syrup. In addition, artificial enzymes are sometimes used in certain products sold on the market, in which case it cannot really be considered natural. Very good idea to check the label carefully. Try to source from a reputable supplier that guarantees a natural or organic product.
Does not require approval.
Conclusions and Summary:
Very pleasant syrup, useful in cooking and in certain recipes. It is a reasonably good source of some minerals and vitamins. However it contains almost no fibre and is almost pure sugar (maltose and maltotriose). On the plus side it contains no fructose or sucrose, and must consequently be regarded as safer than high fructose corn syrup or ordinary sugar. It is not suitable for diabetics and care needs to be taken to avoid excessive consumption. It should be used in place of, not in addition to ordinary sugar.
Taste: -------- Good
Aftertaste: ---- No.
Concerns: ----- Some