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From Riceland Farms: What is Rice?

What is rice?

Farmers grow it, and people worldwide consume it. But what is it, really?

Rice seedling

It starts from a seed planted in the spring, and grows into a field of lush green

rice field 1

that transitions into golden, ripened grain in the fall.

rice field 2

Americans consume around 2,564,866 metric tons of rice each year, or almost 57 billion servings.

rice 1

The rice we eat is a grain from the rice panicle, or cluster of rice grains. All varieties of rice have a grain covered by a tough outer shell called a hull.

rice anatomy

Brown rice has only the hull removed from the grain. The bran layer and germ remain making brown rice a whole grain.

brown rice 1

Long grain rice is about four or five times as long as it is wide, or between seven to nine millimeters.

Brown rice goes through the milling process to remove the bran layer and germ to make white rice. Removing the bran layer and germ helps prevent spoilage so rice can be stored longer.

white rice 1

Medium grain rice is about three times as long as it is wide, or about two millimeters. When cooked, it is very sticky.

Medium grain 1

Parboiled rice goes through a steam pressure process to force the inner and outer starches together to create a less sticky, separate kernel of rice. It’s not precooked, but the process helps retain nutrients that soak into the rice before the bran layer and germ are removed.

parboiled rice

The light golden color gives parboiled rice a distinct look, and the grains cook into fluffy, separate distinct grains.

Riceland farmers grow rice, and then Riceland stores, mills and markets the rice to get it to your table.

wooden bowls of rice