Cooked white rice

White rice is milled rice that has had its husk, bran, and germ removed. This alters the flavor, texture and appearance of the rice and helps prevent spoilage, extend its storage life, and makes it easier to digest. After milling (hulling), the rice is polished, resulting in a seed with a bright, white, shiny appearance.

The milling and polishing processes both remove nutrients. An unbalanced diet based on unenriched white rice leaves many people vulnerable to the neurological disease beriberi, due to a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1).[1] White rice is often enriched with some of the nutrients stripped from it during its processing.[2] Enrichment of white rice with B1, B3, and iron is required by law in the United States when distributed by government programs to schools, nonprofits, or foreign countries.[3][4] As with all natural foods, the precise nutritional composition of rice varies slightly depending on the variety, soil conditions, environmental conditions and types of fertilizers.

Adopted over brown rice in the second half of the 19th century because it was favored by traders, white rice has led to a beriberi epidemic in Asia.[5][6]

At various times, starting in the 19th century, brown rice and other grains such as wild rice have been advocated as healthier alternatives.[7][8] The bran in brown rice contains significant dietary fiber and the germ contains many vitamins and minerals.[9]

Typically, 100 grams of uncooked rice produces around 240 to 260 grams of cooked grains, the difference in weight being due to absorbed cooking water.

Milling rice

See also: Rice huller

Before mechanical milling, rice was milled by a hand pounding technique with large mortar and pestle type devices. Some versions of this improved uniformity of the product, but with mechanical milling much larger quantities were able to be produced. In the late 19th century, different machines were produced like the Huller & Sheller Mills (1870) and the Engelberg Milling Machine (1890). By 1955, new machinery had been developed in Japan that had significantly improved the quality and output capacity.[10]

Nutritional content

Rice, white, long-grain, raw, unenriched
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy1,527 kJ (365 kcal)
79.95 g
Sugars0.12 g
Dietary fiber1.3 g
0.66 g
7.13 g
Thiamine (B1)
0.07 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.049 mg
Niacin (B3)
1.6 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
1.014 mg
Vitamin B6
0.164 mg
Folate (B9)
8 μg
28 mg
0.8 mg
25 mg
1.088 mg
115 mg
115 mg
15.1 μg
7 mg
1.09 mg
Other constituentsQuantity
Water11.62 g
Percentages estimated using US recommendations for adults,[11] except for potassium, which is estimated based on expert recommendation from the National Academies.[12]

While brown rice and white rice have similar amounts of calories and carbohydrates, brown rice is a far richer source of all nutrients when compared to unenriched white rice. Brown rice is whole rice from which only the husk (the outermost layer) is removed. To produce white rice, the bran layer and the germ are removed, leaving mostly the starchy endosperm. This process causes the reduction or complete depletion of several vitamins and dietary minerals. Missing nutrients, such as vitamins B1 and B3, and iron, are sometimes added back into the white rice, a process called enrichment.[13] Even with the reduction of nutrients, unenriched white rice is still a good source of manganese and contains moderate amounts of other nutrients such as pantothenic acid and selenium.[14][15]

See also


  1. ^ Carpenter KJ (2000). Beriberi, white rice, and vitamin B : a disease, a cause, and a cure. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-22053-9.
  2. ^ "Christiaan Eijkman, Beriberi and Vitamin B1". Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  3. ^ Perkins S. "How Is White Rice Healthy for Our Body?". LIVESTRONG.COM. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  4. ^ "7 U.S. Code § 1431c – Enrichment and packaging of cornmeal, grits, rice, and white flour available for distribution". Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  5. ^ Arnold D (July 2010). "British India and the "beriberi problem", 1798–1942". Medical History. 54 (3): 295–314. doi:10.1017/s0025727300004622. PMC 2889456. PMID 20592882.
  6. ^ Cavanagh J, Broad R (2011-03-09). "Why Billions Eat Unhealthy Rice and Shouldn't". Institute for Policy Studies. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  7. ^ Hendrick B. "Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Which Is Better?". WebMD. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  8. ^ "White or brown rice? Mee pok or spaghetti? Take our food quiz and digest the facts about glycaemic index". The Straits Times. 27 May 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  9. ^ "Difference between white and brown rice". reComparison.
  10. ^ Zhang, Baichun (2019). Explorations in the History and Heritage of Machines and Mechanisms. Springer. pp. 90–94. ISBN 9783030035389.
  11. ^ United States Food and Drug Administration (2024). "Daily Value on the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels". FDA. Archived from the original on 2024-03-27. Retrieved 2024-03-28.
  12. ^ National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Food and Nutrition Board; Committee to Review the Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium (2019). Oria, Maria; Harrison, Meghan; Stallings, Virginia A. (eds.). Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium. The National Academies Collection: Reports funded by National Institutes of Health. Washington, DC: National Academies Press (US). ISBN 978-0-309-48834-1. PMID 30844154. Archived from the original on 2024-05-09. Retrieved 2024-06-21.
  13. ^ "Enriched rice". US Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 2021-04-06.
  14. ^ "Rice, white, long-grain, regular, raw, unenriched". USDA. 1 April 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  15. ^ "Rice, brown, long-grain, raw". USDA. 1 April 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2021.