University Teknology MARA researchers investigated the effects of rice, barley and mung beans in heated bags for treating soft tissue injuries. Rice displayed superior quality in maintaining heat and can act as a substitute to ice packs or heat gels in treating these injuries.
Researchers from the Faculty of Applied Sciences and the Faculty of Sport Sciences at University Teknology MARA collaborated in a study to invent supplementary and better solutions to treat soft tissue and muscle injuries. This study looked into the effectiveness of "Ricebag" which was heated and used to treat soft tissue injuries.
This bag is invented specifically for individuals in need of treatment for soft tissue or muscle injuries. Usually Ice and Heat (gel, cream, modalities (electrical) based) are used in managing soft tissue or muscle injuries (Prentice 2006). The use of Ice and Heat has been observed to give some negative effects. Hence, this rice bag has been invented as an alternative.
Local rice grains were used as raw material and covered with a special woollen fabric that is similar in strength to that of an icepack and is also able to sustain heat simultaneously. Rice, barley and mung beans were used in this study.
The grains and beans were washed and dried in sun light, and sterilization method began with these grains and beans which were roasted on a hot plate, to prevent germination. All grains and beans were treated under UV light for an hour. The grains and beans were packed into a bag using rib fabric, and these bags were 'cooked' using an autoclave (a machine that is suitable for pressure cooking) maintaining a temperature of 121°C for 15 minutes. A small hole was made on each bag (to fit a thermometer) to measure the grains and beans' heat retaining capacity.
Rice displayed superior characteristic compared to barley and mung beans. In terms of fabric, the rib fabric which was used to make the bag is able to retain and maintain heat (5min + 155°C). The study proved that rice covered with fabric displayed similar characteristic of an ice and hot pack and acts as a substitute to help treat soft tissue injury.