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What is Parboiled Rice?

Context:

The Central Government recently imposed a 20% export duty on parboiled rice.

Relevance:

GS II- Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is parboiled rice?
  2. Are all rice varieties suitable for parboiling?
  3. Advantages
  4. Disadvantages

What is 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.
  • However, there is no specific definition of parboiled rice of the Food Corporation of India or the Food Ministry.

There are several processes for parboiling rice:

  • 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.
  • All processes generally involve three stages—soaking, steaming and drying. After passing through these stages, the paddy goes for milling.

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.

Advantages:

  • Parboiling makes rice tougher.
  • This reduces the chances of the rice kernel breaking during milling.
  • Parboiling also increases the nutrient value of the rice.
  • Parboiled rice has a higher resistance to insects and fungi.

Disadvantages:

  • 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.

-Source: Indian Express


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