University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture


Arkansas and California are the two leading rice-producing states in the U.S. Arkansas predominantly long- and medium-grain rice and California primarily medium- and short-grain rice. Although short-grain rice accounts for less than 2 % of U.S. rice production, the demand for short-grain rice is rising because of increasing popularity of sushi and sake. Because of its premium price and different applications, short-grain rice may open up new opportunities for rice farmers in Arkansas. The objective of this study was to characterize the physical, physicochemical and texture properties of rice cultivars grown in Arkansas versus in Japan and California. Three short-grain rice cultivars from the 2016 crop year were collected, including RU9601099 from Arkansas, CH-202 from California, and Koshihikari from Japan. The rice cultivars were characterized for kernel appearance, chemical composition, amylopectin chain-length distribution, and gelatinization, pasting and textural properties. RU9601099 was found to have a smaller width and a greater length/width ratio and whiteness than the other cultivars. RU9601099 was high in protein and ash contents, but low in amylose content. RU9601099 and CH-202 shared a similar average chain-length of amylopectin. RU9601099 had significantly greater gelatinization temperatures and enthalpy and peak and trough viscosities. When cooked, RU9601099 exhibited greater stickiness, whereas Koshihikari exhibited greater hardness. The results reveal significant differences in some properties among the three short-grain rice cultivars, although both RU9601099 and CH-202 are crosses of Koshihikari, and demonstrate the importance of environmental factors affecting rice properties.