2012 Volume 59 Issue 7 Pages 301-318
Consuming rice as the staple, 0.95 million tons of rice bran is produced annually in Japan as a by-product from the rice milling process. Bran is used in several applications such as animal feed and fertilizer for mushroom cultivation, but most of it has been discarded as an agricultural waste although it contains various functional substances, such as γ-oryzanol, ferulic acid, sterol, wax, ceramide, phytin, inositol and protein. It could be considered a scarcely used but promising resource. As such, continuous efforts have been dedicated to exploring its effective utilization. In this context, functionalities of the substances contained in the bran are summarized, and our attempts for improving functionality, improving ease of use, and exploring new applications are presented.