(parboiled rice) Parboiled rice is rice that has undergone a steaming process before being milled and polished. Parboiled rice is a rice-type product of Thailand, which is been processed further from normal white or brown rice. Parboiled rice has to contain at least 25% of amylose, whilst normal white rice contains about 20-30% of amylose. Amylose is a complex compound formed by the aggregation of many glucose molecules into a linear chain. Rice with high amylose content, when cooked, is more crumbly and drier than rice with low amylose content.
Parboiled rice production can be done both at the household and industrial levels. The process of producing parboiled rice is started by cleaning the paddy, then soaking the paddy in either hot or cold water. However, hot water gets absorbed into the rice faster than cold water when used to soak the paddy; hence it takes less time to soak. Through the soaking process, the nutrients from the shell are absorbed and remain in the seed. The next process is steaming or boiling the paddy, which makes the flour inside cooked and expands. This is what gives parboiled rice its light yellow color. In order for the rice to be kept for a long time, it is dried until the moisturizer in the paddy drops to 12-14%. It can be done using either the sun or a rice-dryer. The benefit of producing parboiled rice is the improved milling quality. It reduces the broken rice and makes it easier to remove the husk.
Thailand exports more parboiled rice to the world market than domestic consumption. This is because of the unique smell and taste of the parboiled rice that Thai people are not used to. Also, parboiled rice has higher production costs than normal white rice, which makes the price higher. However, in comparison, parboiled rice has many advantages over normal white rice. For example, parboiled rice can be kept for a longer period of time. Parboiled rice contains high vitamin B and E and is easy to digest. Therefore, parboiled rice is more beneficial for the consumers’’ health. That is why, in the future, the popularity of parboiled rice in Thailand might increase.