Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Food Science (MS)

Degree Level



Food Science


Sun-Ok Lee

Committee Member

Jamie I. Baum

Second Committee Member

Edward Gbur


Biological sciences, Health and environmental sciences, Anti-diabetic properties, Brown rice, Human nutrition, Korean rice cake, Plasma glucose control, Rice consumption patterns, Seolgitteok


Within the United States type 2 diabetes is an ever growing health epidemic. The prevalence in the adult population has quadrupled over the past 30 years and is expected to continue on a similar path in the coming decades. While the cause of type 2 diabetes is multifactorial, it is considered to be an acquired condition related to environmental contributors including poor diet, obesity, and physical inactivity, which may be managed to alter the course or progression of the disease. Preventative or maintenance measures emphasize nutritional intervention strategies, including encouraging individuals to follow a nutrient-dense, high-fiber diet with ample whole-grains, such as brown rice. A number of scientific studies have determined that regular consumption of brown rice is linked with improved diet quality and adequate fiber intake. Furthermore, researchers have demonstrated the various health properties of brown rice and its nutritional constituents and conclusively shown that brown rice is beneficial and effective in managing blood glucose and insulin levels. However, while the effects on glucose and insulin are well understood, there is limited research regarding its effects on GLP-1 and ghrelin, two satiety hormones which are fundamental in the progression of diabetes. Despite extensive evidence supporting an inverse relationship between regular brown rice consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes, multiple national-level studies have reported that the majority of Americans seldom consume brown rice. Previously, much focus has been placed on examining rice consumption in the population as a whole; little information is currently available addressing geographical trends. Therefore, the first objective of this research was to provide details on nutrient intake and rice consumption patterns in the Southern U.S., the region where diabetes is most prevalent. Secondly, in the interest of promoting brown rice consumption, the Korean rice cake (Seolgitteok) has been suggested as a potential functional food product which could simultaneously increase rice intake and satisfy U.S. consumers’ increasing demand for ethnic foods. Thus, the second objective was to investigate the health effects of consuming Seolgitteok made with varying ratios of white-to-brown rice flour, in hopes of enhancing the consumption of brown rice among American consumers.