Whole grain rice is rich in phenolic compounds. The effect of γ-irradiation on the main phenolic compounds in the rice grains of three genotypes (black, red, and white) was investigated. Three phenolic acids (p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid, and sinapinic acid) were identified as major phenolic compounds in all rice samples, while two anthocyanins (cyanidin-3-glucoside and peonidin-3-glucoside) were identified in pigmented grain samples. In general, γ-irradiation at most of doses could significantly (p < 0.05) decrease total phenolic acid contents in all samples and total anthocyanins contents in the black rice, but their decreases were not completely in a dose-dependent manner. Unexpectedly, 6 and 8 kGy significantly (p < 0.05) increased total contents of anthocyanins and phenolic acids in black rice. This study suggested that suitable doses of irradiation might be carefully selected and used to minimise the loss of antioxidant phenolic compounds in whole grain rice during storage.
- Phenolic acid