Why Stabilized Rice Bran is Better than Raw Rice Bran for Horses

Posted by Jennifer Serot, Wed, Jul 25, 2012

Did you know that not all rice brans are created equal? Do you know the difference between Stabilized Rice Bran and raw rice bran? Raw rice bran products are available for purchase at a lower cost, but horse owners need to be aware of significant dangers that can result from feeding raw rice bran. Be sure to check your bag to make sure you are feeding a Stabilized Rice Bran, such as Max-E Glo®. So, what are the four main differences? 

  1. Quality. Stabilized Rice Bran, such as Max-E Glo®, is manufactured with very high quality standards. In fact, the rice bran in Max-E Glo is the same rice bran that is utilized in human food. Did you know that some rice mills routinely add “cleanings” (i.e., dust, weed seeds, floor sweepings and foreign materials) from their milling process back into the rice bran product flow? Ick! They do this to eliminate waste materials and as well as costs associated with the disposal of their waste stream, which is fine for them, but a concern for you because it dilutes the feed you purchase with non-nutritious (or worse, harmful) materials. The rice mills in which Stabilized Rice Bran is produced use special cleaning equipment that eliminates this common practice. 
  2. Free Radicals and Fatty Acids. Raw rice bran obtained from rice mills contains very active naturally occurring enzymes. Left unchecked, these enzymes rapidly convert the bran’s beneficial oils into free fatty acids and free radicals. High levels of these free fatty acids and free radicals in equine feed present problems, include palatability and acceptance as the raw rice bran goes rancid. The end result is that animals lose weight because they simply refuse to eat the bran. The technology used to make Max-E Glo Stabilized Rice Bran addresses this fundamental problem by deactivating enzymes that cause free fatty acid levels to increase. Proprietary stabilization equipment is used to ensure that the rice bran is not only processed as efficiently as possible, but more importantly is as stable as possible.
  3. Bacterial, Fungal and Mycotoxin Contamination. Raw rice bran can contain relatively high levels of bacteria and fungi. These microbes are naturally present in the environment and grow on rice while still it’s in the field. Since raw rice bran is not heat treated, these microbes can be present in high numbers, which creates two problems for horse owners. First, pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella are toxic when consumed and can cause serious health problems in horses, including death. Second, non-pathogenic bacteria utilize rice bran as food for their growth, which significantly reduces the nutrition quality of the feed. Max-E Glo® Stabilized Rice Bran undergoes a proprietary process in which rice bran is heated under special conditions to reduce and eliminate pathogenic bacteria.  Additionally, the microbial content is constantly checked via extensive lab testing.
  4. Pesticides and Freshness. It is scary to think that you could be feeding your horse pesticides. As you can imagine, human-grade rice bran (such as Max-E Glo) has much more stringent limitations on pesticides than some lower-cost raw brans. Max-E Glo Stabilized Rice Bran undergoes third-party lab testing for the presence of pesticides, ensuring that the Stabilized Rice Bran meets US FDA regulations. Additionally, Max-E Glo is routinely tested to ensure the delivery of the nutrients promised on our package. Also, Max-E Glo is guaranteed fresh for at least one year, verses raw rice bran which degrades very quickly.

There you have it! Stabilized Rice Bran verses raw rice bran.