Rice Forms by Milling & Processing Print E-mail
Image of rice grain identifying, from the outside to the center, the bristles, hull, bran layers, starchy endoplasm and stalk
Rough Rice
Also called paddy rice. The rice kernels are encased in an inedible, protective hull which must be removed. The hulls can be reclaimed and used as fuel, or turned into mulch, abrasives, animal feed and other products.
Brown Rice (Whole grain)
Rice from which only the hull has been removed. It may be cooked and eaten as is or milled into regular-milled white rice. The light brown color is due to the presence of the bran layers and the embryo or germ. Brown rice requires longer cooking time than either parboiled or regular-milled white rice. When cooked, brown rice has a slightly chewy texture and mild, nut-like flavor. The specialty rices consumed as black and red rices are considered "whole grain" because they are consumed with the bran layers intact. In these rices, the bran layer contains pigmented compounds, imparting the various colors.
Parboiled Rice
Parboiling is an optional processing step prior to milling. This steam-pressure treatment gelatinizes the starch within the rice kernel. The result is firmer, more separate grains that are more stable and less susceptible to overcooking than regular-milled white rice. After parboiling and drying, the rice goes through the normal milling process. Parboiling is often utilized for brown or white rice used in canned and frozen foods and food service/steam table (restaurant and institutional uses).
Regular-Milled White Rice
Sometimes called milled rice, polished white rice, or simply, polished rice. This rice is distinguished by the fact that the hulls, bran layers and germ have all been removed. If you choose, the milled rice can be enriched with vitamins and minerals after the bran is removed in the milling process. Rice enrichment standards are defined by the FDA.
Precooked Rice
Regular-milled white rice, parboiled milled white rice and brown rice can be precooked and redried before packaging to provide a product that requires very short preparation times-from as little as 90 seconds to 15 minutes. Instant, quick-cooking, and boil-in-the-bag rices are often produced by pre-cooking.
Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) Rice
Cooked rice grains that are individually frozen before packaging to provide a free-flowing ingredient for use in frozen and prepared food products.
Crisped/Puffed/Expanded Rice
Rice kernels can be processed in a number of different ways and shapes to meet particular manufacturing needs. Candy bar, energy and nutrition bars and cereal applications commonly require crisped, puffed, or expanded rice.
Head Rice
Whole kernels of milled rice that meet the standard of measuring at least three-fourths the length of a whole kernel. After milling, an average of 55% of kernels milled emerge in this form for long grain rices.
Second Heads
Broken kernels from the milling process-at least one-half as long as the whole kernel, but less than three-fourths. These partial kernels can be used "as is", blended with other rice grains for a variety of products or ground for rice flour. Second heads are the largest size of broken rice products.
Brewers Rice
The smallest size broken fragments from the milling process-usually about one-quarter of a full kernel. Brewers rice was formerly used almost exclusively in brewing, but now is used mainly in other fermented products and in pet foods.
Rice Meal and Flour
Whole or broken kernels of rice can be ground and sifted into meal or flour. Since viscosity, gelatinization temperature and other characteristics vary by rice type, the rice type must match the application. Selected rice types are available in pregelatinized flour or meal form for those applications requiring it for functionality. Rice flour and meal is not very hygroscopic so it is good for use in crispy coatings, crisp cereals and crackers, and as a dusting agent for doughs. Rice meal and flour are often the preferred choice of manufacturers when creating products targeted to consumers with food allergies or who are gluten-intolerant.

White meals and flours perform very well in applications including hot and ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, baby foods, extruded snacks, baking mixes, pasta, malt beverages and as dusting agents for frozen foods and bakery doughs. Long grain white meals and flour excel at producing a firm, dry or crisp texture. Medium grain meal and flours are easy to cook and are favored in gluten-free breads and traditional rice crackers.

Sweet/waxy rice meals and flours offer superior resistance to syneresis (weeping or loss of water) during freeze/thaw applications. This characteristic makes them an excellent choice for thickening soups, sauces, gravies, baby foods, puddings and other similar products, especially if they will be frozen and later thawed.

Brown meals and flours represent an excellent opportunity for introducing Whole Grains into a wide range of products and have long been favored in health food markets. Like brown rice, they are characterized by a nut-like flavor and enhanced levels of fiber, vitamins, minerals and natural antioxidants contributed by the bran and germ.

Other meals and flours include parboiled, pregelatinized and instant.