What is parboiled rice?


  • Recently, the Centre has said it will stop the purchase of excess parboiled rice, of which Telangana is a major producer.

About parboiled rice

  • The dictionary meaning of ‘parboil’ is ‘partly cooked by boiling’.
  • Thus, the expression parboiled rice refers to rice that has been partially boiled at the paddy stage, before milling.
  • Parboiling of rice is not a new practice, and has been followed in India since ancient times.

    What is parboiled rice?
    Source: Wikipedia
  • However, there is no specific definition of parboiled rice of the Food Corporation of India or the Food Ministry.
  • Today, there are several processes for parboiling rice.
  • For example, the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysuru, uses a method in which the paddy is soaked in hot water for three hours, in contrast to the more common method in which paddy is soaked for 8 hours.
    • The water is then drained and the paddy steamed for 20 minutes.
    • Also, the paddy is dried in the shade in the method used by the CFTRI, but is sun-dried in the common method.
  • The Paddy Processing Research Centre (PPRC), Thanjavur follows a method known as the chromate soaking process.
    • It uses chromate, a family of salt in which the anion contains both chromium and oxygen, which removes the odour from the wet rice.

Are all rice varieties suitable for parboiling?

  • Generally, all varieties can be processed into parboiled rice, but it is ideal to use long slender varieties to prevent breakage during milling.
  • However, aromatic varieties should not be parboiled because the process can make it can lose its aroma.

What are the benefits?

  • There are several benefits. For example, parboiling makes rice tougher.
    • This reduces the chances of the rice kernel breaking during milling.
    • Parboiling also increases the nutrient value of the rice.
    • Third, parboiled rice has a higher resistance to insects and fungi.
  • However, parboiling comes with some disadvantages too.
    • The rice becomes darker and may smell unpleasant due to prolonged soaking.
    • Besides, setting up a parboiling rice milling unit requires a higher investment than a raw rice milling unit.



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