Rice Bran


Rice Milling Process

Origin Of Rice Bran

Rice bran is the outer layer of the rice grain, removed by polishing brown rice to become white rice. It is a highly nutritious product that is a rich source of energy, protein, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and fibre, therefore a valuable ingredient to add to feed to boost the nutritional content.

Nutritional Benefit of Rice Bran

Nutritional Benefit of Rice Bran

The health and productivity benefits of rice bran in livestock feed are well documented, having been well researched in Australian and international studies.

Rice bran contains:

  • A highly digestible form of concentrated energy.
  • A rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids for heart and blood vessel health.
  • A good source of natural vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect tissues against oxidative damage and also supports immune function.
  • A range of trace elements important for bone, cartilage and joint health, and for improving immune function and metabolism.
  • A source of the essential amino acids including methionine for hoof integrity, and lysine for building muscle protein.
  • A high rice bran oil content (up to 20%), which provides a dense source of energy. Using oil as an energy source conserves glycogen reserves in muscles, helping to delay fatigue and improve stamina.
  • Gamma oryzanol is a natural anabolic plant compound, which promotes muscle development and definition.

The rice brain oil contained in rice bran may enhance the digestion of starch in the small intestine, for rice bran oil slows the rate of digestion through a horse’s stomach and intestinal passage. This allows for more time for complete digestion of starch and helps reduce the risk of acidosis, colic and laminitis, which are associated with the fermentation of starch in the horse’s hindgut.

Digestive Benefits Of Rice

Rice is a unique cereal grain with the following characteristics:

  • It contains starch that is readily digested in the foregut.
  • It is a good source of energy, required by hard working muscles.
  • It is used to rebuild liver and muscle glycogen stores, essential reserves for when fast work is required.
  • It is great source of B-group vitamins, which are vital for efficient metabolism (converting food into energy).
  • It does not contain gluten or fluctan, therefore reduces the risk of digestive upsets.

Feeding trials conducted at the University of Queensland have demonstrated that rice is primarily digested in the small intestine. This is extremely important for the digestive health and wellbeing of horses and ponies. Feeding less digestible grains such as corn, barley and oats can result in undigested starch flowing from the small intestine to the large intestine. This undigested starch can then ferment, causing an unbalanced hindgut and may cause fizzy behaviours, as well as contribute to problems such as laminitis and colic.

Rice Bran Pellets

CopRice strategically uses rice and rice bran in its feeds to produce balanced, consistent and highly digestible rations for horses and ponies. These scientifically formulated pellets provide optimum nourishment for health and fitness to achieve conditioning and performance targets.

Nutrient Levels Per Kg Feed

(On a Dry Matter Basis)

Typical Analysis
Crude Protein
Min. 13%
Energy (DE)
Min. 14.5MJ
Crude Fat
Max. 17%
Crude Fibre
Max. 10%
Max. 25%
Vitamin E
Vitamin B1
Vitamin B2
Vitamin B3
Vitamin B5
Vitamin B6
Folic Acid
Amino Acids
Gamma Oryzanol
Fatty Acids
(Omega 9)
(Omega 6)
Alpha Linoleic
(Omega 3)

The Nutritional Benefits Of Rice Bran

Feature Benefits
Energy Rice bran has a high oil content and is a dense source of energy.

Rice bran contains up to 20% oil, which provides a dense source of energy. It is readily consumed and easily digested by horses, making it an effective and efficient way to add energy to the diet.

Rice bran oil has a ‘glycogen sparing’ effect on energy availability.

Horses in moderate to heavy work require a blend of energy sources to maintain stamina and optimise performance. Using rice bran oil as an energy source helps conserve muscle glycogen reserves, providing a valuable energy source for use during intensive exercise. This additional source of energy assists in delaying muscle fatigue, lowering heart rate and reducing lactic acid accumulation during exercise.

Protein Rice bran contains essential amino acids. Rice bran, compared to cereal grains, is a good source of the essential amino acids lysine and methionine. Lysine is vital for growth and tissue repair, whilst methionine is a key component of strong, healthy hooves.
Fatty Acids Rice bran is a rich source of essential fatty acids. Rice bran oil contains omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. It is particularly high in monounsaturated fatty acids which belong to the omega 9 group of essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids cannot be produced by horses and need to be obtained from the diet. Omega 9 fatty acids are important for heart and blood vessel health.
Vitamins Rice bran is an excellent source of B-group vitamins. The B-group vitamins niacin (B3) and pantothenic acid (B5) are necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat and protein into energy. Horses can produce B-group vitamins in their hindgut, however requirements increase with workload and additional higher levels available in feed will suitably benefit horses during exercise or training. Biotin (B7) is needed to produce keratin, the durable protein from which hooves and hair are formed. When combined with the amino acid methionine, biotin is particularly beneficial for hoof growth.
Minerals Rice bran is a source of the trace minerals selenium, zinc, manganese and copper. Rice bran is a source of selenium which protects cells from free radical damage. Selenium, with the support of zinc and copper, ensures a healthy metabolism and strong immune function. Rice bran is naturally high in zinc, copper and manganese which also function to ensure healthy bones, joints and cartilage and have many other beneficial roles in the body.
Antioxidants Rice bran oil is a great source of tocopherols (including vitamin E) antioxidants. Rice bran is a source of tocopherols and tocotrienols, both highly effective antioxidants that are forms of vitamin E. Antioxidants help protect cells against damage from free radicals which interfere with cellular function. Horses in moderate to high exercise intensity may benefit from additional antioxidants as reserves are quickly depleted. Vitamin E works best in combination with selenium to preserve cell membrane integrity and support immune function.
Rice bran is naturally rich in gamma oryzanol. Gamma oryzanol is a naturally occurring anabolic compound, which increases protein levels within cells resulting in improved skeletal muscle development. It works on the body’s endocrine system (a collection of glands that secrete hormones directly into the circulatory system), to increase fat metabolism and improve protein synthesis. Gamma oryzanol helps maintain appetite in horses undergoing intensive exercise, reduces post-exercise soreness, and has been shown to help reduce the risk of gastric ulcers.


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