Takeaways from study on anti-aging potential of pigmented rice, callus extracts

By Ravyn Cullor

- Last updated on GMT

Rice comes in several colors, including unpigmented, brown, red and black. © Getty Images - ografiaBasica
Rice comes in several colors, including unpigmented, brown, red and black. © Getty Images - ografiaBasica

Related tags anti-aging Antioxidant Botanical extracts Ingredients Skin Skin care

Plant extracts for anti-aging are all fine and good, but the color of the rice feedstock and extraction method may affect efficacy significantly.

Rice contains a number of compounds helpful in anti-aging including vitamin E homologues, phenolic acids, anthocyanins and procyanidins. The level of bioactive pigments in rice depends on the species' color.

A research team out of Thailand, Vitchit et al, was recently published in Cosmetics exploring the levels of key anti-aging activities in rice extracts of three different species of rice, unpigmented Hommali rice, red Munpu rice and black Niawdum rice.

Vitchit et al also compared the performance of plain rice seeds and rice calli culture,

“They are interesting because of their robust anti-oxidant activity,”​ Vitchit et al said. “Calli derived from rice embryonic cells have previously been shown to exhibit anti-aging properties.”

Evidence for the calli culture technique

Vitchit et al said calli are plant stem cells that are genetically capable of growing an entirely new plant and have significant proliferation and differentiation potential. 

The research team also notes that callus derived from several plants generated higher levels of bioactive ingredients like anthocyanins, procyanidins, flavonoids and phenolic acids, which are also present in rice.

“The investigation of bioactive compounds in the rice callus extract indicated that the condition for cultivation enhanced phenolics and amino acids,"​ Vitchit et al said. “The rice callus extracts appeared to have potent antioxidant and anti-aging activities.”

Callus tissue performed better than standard rice extracts in many but not all tests performed by Vitchit et al, as well as in other studies on peppers, tomatoes and grapes, among others.

Anti-aging potential of pigmented rice species

Vitchit et al said pigmented rice extracts are generally considered higher in antioxidants than their unpigmented counterpart theoretically because of higher levels of phenolic compounds. Many of the team’s tests appeared to support that theory.

The study generally found Munpu callus to perform the best as an anti-aging extract, including the following metrics

  • Among the rice callus extracts, Munpu had significantly higher phenolic content, followed by Niawdum and Hommali.
  • The rice callus extracts had a significantly higher total amino acid than its seed extracts of about 6.0, 10.0, and 2.0 times for the Hommali, Munpu, and Niawdum rice, respectively.
  • The highest PFRAP was found in Munpu callus extract, followed by the Niawdum callus extract, Munpu seed extract, and Hommali callus extract.
  • Munpu callus extract showed 68.22% DPPH scavenging activity which was significantly higher than that of Niawdum and Hommali calli.
  • The significantly highest LPO was Munpu callus, followed by Niawdum callus, and Hommali callus.
  • The highest collagenase inhibition was found in Munpu callus, followed by Niawdum and Hommali calli.
  • The highest NO inhibition was observed in Munpu callus, followed by Niawdum callus and Hommali callus.

Overall, what that means is Munpu rice callus shows significant antioxidant, skin conditioning and anti-aging activities. 

“Therefore, the rice callus extracts, particularly the pigmented rice, are an alternative natural source with much potential for usage as an antioxidant and anti-aging active components in cosmetics, functional foods, and medications,”​ Vitchit et al said.


Author: W. Vitchi et al

Source: Cosmetics

Cosmetics 2022, 9(4), 79;

Title: Anti-Oxidant and Anti-Aging Activities of Callus Culture from Three Rice Varieties

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