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Rice-O: The Story of a Healthy Heart

Good cooking oil doesn’t just add life to the most common foods, but also plays a pivotal role in your health. It could affect your cholesterol levels, alter your metabolicsyndrome and if you’re using the right kind of oil, it could also reduce inflammation. That’s what makes it all the more important to pick the right one. In the last few years, ghee (clarified butter) and refined oil have earned a bad reputation due to the cholesterol and heart diseases scare. For such health reasons, people have become more open to experiment with new types of oil. On such variety that has slowly been creeping up on health, charts is Rice Bran Oil.

Rice-OThe story of Rice-O dates back a couple of years, 09 years to be exact. Where an esteemed business family based in Colombo ventured into the cooking oil industry, solely with the intention of producing and distributing healthy edible oil for Sri Lankans.

“While living in the U.S I paid close attention to what I consumed since I was afraid putting on the pounds rapidly, so, I would constantly converse with the chefs and managers regarding the products used, especially the oil. What I realized was certain fine dying and mid-level restaurants used healthy oil, such as conola, olive and of course rice bran oil. Since we have a strong background with rice, I thought we should start production of rice bran oil, here in Sri Lanka” said Kuganesan

Coming from a family that currently holds the agency for Satake Corporation, Japan, Kugan Kuganesan expanded their family business under the tutelage of Mr. Kuganesan, his father.

An industrial engineer who graduated from Purdue University learned the shocking truth about cooking oil currently being used in the market and at restaurants. His discovery led to Rice-O’s inception. Upon research he discovered the benefits of Rice Bran oil, which is widely acknowledged as one the healthiest oils in the world.

Rice bran oil has a composition similar to that of peanut oil, with 38% monounsaturated, 37% polyunsaturated, and 25% saturated fatty acids. A component of rice bran oil is the antioxidant γ-oryzanol, at around 2% of crude oil content. Thought to be a single compound when initially isolated, it is now known to be a mixture of steryl and other triterpenyl esters of ferulic acids.[1] Also present are tocopherols and tocotrienols (two types of vitamin E) and phytosterols.

fatty acid

Built-in the heart of the city of Polonnaruwa, with over 160 workers overlooking it’s operations while adhering to stringent international health standards, Rice-O remains as an honest and dedicated company towards health and safety of us all.

According to Kugan Kuganesan, Director, Rice-O, Rice-O sources the best bran in the country from local vendors, which in turn is used to produce 200 tons of Rice Bran oil per day. “Rice-O is dedicated to the research and development of high-quality rice bran oil and other edible oils like corn oil, coconut oil and soya oil.” Said Kuganesan.

“The oils that are currently available in the market are either high in cholesterol or don’t contain the health benefits of Rice Bran oil, for instance, Rice Bran Oil is known to contain good fat, lower cholesterol and is also backed by the American Heart Association, hence making it a heart-friendly product,” says he. Kuganesan also harped on cooking oils being overused currently at restaurants and eateries in the country, “Cooking oil should never be used more than once, the re-used oil creates peroxides acid, causes various types of cancers and also has been scientifically proven to attack organ cells and not to mention attacks white blood cells, our primary defence system against pathogens” Said the engineer

Being an ISO 90001 and ISO 22000 certified company Rice-O claims to be the leading global player in the production and marketing of Healthy Oils. The company also produces Functional Foods, which are highly nutritious and associated with a number of powerful health benefits.

“We currently aspire to develop highly satisfied customers, business partners and employees through our service. Also, we seek to contribute to the development of communities and the protection of the environment in which we operate.” Says Kuganesan.

He goes on to add that Sri Lanka has been successfully producing coconut oil for centuries and now with the inclusion of rice bran oil and other offerings of Rice-O, the country may be in position to compete with other nations. Some of its other offerings are Soy oil, Corn oil and Coconut oil.

He also stated that Asian countries such as India and China are Sri Lanka’s biggest competitors at the moment. A comprehensive strategic plan under the guidance of government authorities would be needed in order to move further towards the international market.

Finally, Kuganesan believes that Rice-O would be successful at creating a segment in the export market and be successful in promoting rice bran oil, soy oil and coconut oil, which subsequently would elevate the country’s financial status.

Kugan Kuganesan serves as the Director, of Rice-O, a truly Sri Lankan innovative healthy consumable products company based in Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka.

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