Brown rice

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Brown rice
Chinese name
Chinese 糙米
Literal meaning rough rice
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese alphabet gạo lứt
Thai name
Thai ข้าวกล้อง
Korean name
Hangul 현미
Hanja 玄米
Japanese name
Kanji 玄米
Filipino name
Tagalog pináwa
Rice, brown, long-grain, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,548 kJ (370 kcal)
77.24 g
Sugars 0.85 g
Dietary fiber 3.52 g
2.92 g
7.85 g
Thiamine (B1)
0.401 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.093 mg
Niacin (B3)
5.091 mg
1.493 mg
Vitamin B6
0.509 mg
Folate (B9)
20 μg
23 mg
1.47 mg
143 mg
3.743 mg
333 mg
223 mg
7 mg
2.02 mg
Other constituents
Water 10.37 g
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Brown rice (or "hulled" or "unmilled" rice) is whole grain rice. It has a mild, nutty flavor, and is chewier and more nutritious than white rice. Brown rice has the bran and germ, which are removed to make white rice. Any rice, including long-grain, short-grain, or glutinous rice, may be eaten as brown rice. Although widely believed to be superior nutritionally to white rice, the nutritive value of brown rice has recently been challenged due to concerns over arsenic levels.[1][2][3][4][5]

White rice comparison[edit]

Brown rice and white rice have similar amounts of calories and carbohydrates. The main differences between the two forms of rice lie in processing and nutritional content. It is a whole grain with a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, an excellent source of manganese and high in fiber.[6]

When only the outermost layer of a grain of rice (the husk) is removed, brown rice is produced. To produce white rice, the next layers underneath the husk (the bran layer and the germ) are removed, leaving mostly the starchy endosperm.

Several vitamins and dietary minerals are lost in this removal and the subsequent polishing process. A part of these missing nutrients, such as vitamin B1, vitamin B3, and iron are sometimes added back into the white rice making it "enriched", as food suppliers in the US are required to do by the Food and Drug Administration.[7][not in citation given]

One mineral not added back into white rice is magnesium; one cup (195 g) of cooked long grain brown rice contains 84 mg of magnesium while one cup of white rice contains 19 mg.

When the bran layer is removed to make white rice, the oil in the bran is also removed.

Among other key sources of nutrition lost are dietary fiber and small amounts of fatty acids.


A nutritionally superior method of preparation using GABA rice or germinated brown rice, developed during the International Year of Rice, may be used.[8] This involves soaking washed brown rice for 20 hours in warm water (34 °C or 93 °F) prior to cooking it. This process stimulates germination, which activates various enzymes in the rice. By this method, it is possible to obtain a more complete amino acid profile, including GABA.


Parboiled rice is a modified process that forces into the kernel some of the vitamins found in the hull before the hull is removed. The process provides more nutrition than white rice while shortening the time necessary for final meal preparation.


Brown rice has a shelf life of approximately 6 months,[9] but hermetic storage, refrigeration or freezing can significantly extend its lifetime. Freezing, even periodically, can also help control infestations of Indian meal moths.


A 2012 report from Consumer Reports found measurable levels of arsenic in nearly all of the sixty varieties of rice and rice products it tested.[10] Consumer Reports states that brown rice has 80 percent more inorganic arsenic on average than white rice of the same type, because the arsenic tends to accumulate in the outer layers of the grain. Its 2013 analysis found that rice cereal and pasta can possess significantly more inorganic arsenic than the 2012 data showed. Consumer Reports said just one serving of rice cereal or pasta could place children over the maximum amount of rice it recommended for their weekly allotment, due to arsenic content.[11] There have been studies done by academic institutions in the past as well, such as one published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal. That study found a median level of arsenic that was 56% higher in the urine of women who had eaten rice.[12]

See also[edit]

  • Genmaicha, a Japanese green tea combined with roasted brown rice
  • Hyeonmi cha, a Korean tisane made from roasted brown rice


  1. ^ Consumer Reports (2014-01-11). "How much arsenic is in your rice?". Retrieved 2015-03-27. 
  2. ^ Sohn, Emily (2014-10-20). "Contamination: The toxic side of rice". Retrieved 2015-03-27. 
  3. ^ Yandell, Kate (2014-10-04). "How Rice Overcomes Arsenic". Retrieved 2015-03-27. 
  4. ^ Ware, Lauren (2012-03-14). "Dartmouth Medicine — Research raises concerns about arsenic in rice". Retrieved 2015-03-27. 
  5. ^ Greenfield MD, Russell (2011-08-12). "Taking Action: Arsenic and Our Children". Retrieved 2015-03-27. 
  6. ^ "nutrient profile". live science. 
  7. ^ "Enriched rice". Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  8. ^ Ito, Shoichi and Ishikawa, Yukihiro (2004-02-12). "Marketing of Value-Add Rice Products in Japan: Germinated Brown Rice and Rice Bread". Retrieved 2007-11-28. 
  9. ^ "Storage". Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  10. ^ Consumer Reports (2012-11-11). "Arsenic In Your Food". Retrieved 2015-03-27. 
  11. ^ Consumer Reports (2014-01-11). "How much arsenic is in your rice?". Retrieved 2015-03-27. 
  12. ^ Spivey, Angela (2012-01-11). "NIH: Studies find arsenic in food adds up". Retrieved 2015-03-27. 

External links[edit]