Rice bran and whole brown rice are currently underutilized because free fatty acids are formed from rice oil during storage. Rough rice from two growing areas was tested for presence of lipolytic microorganisms that could release these fatty acids. Approximately 10% of the total bacterial plate count (4 × 106/g for Louisiana and 12 × 106/g for the Arkansas rice samples) were lipolytic. Upon testing, most were classified as nonsaccharolytic, alkali-producing pseudomonads. The average mold plate count for the Louisiana sample was 2 × 103 colony forming units (cfu)/g and 5 × 103 cfu/g for the Arkansas sample. All molds isolated showed various amounts of lipolytic action, as determined by the size of the lipolytic zone. The molds were generally isolated more from the Louisiana than from the Arkansas rice. Alternaria and Helminthosporium species, the most prevalent molds, were found in all samples.

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