THE MILLING
PROCESS
milling_proces

The final step in growing rice is milling, a mechanized process that American mills have perfected.

At the mill, the harvested “rough” rice passes through “sheller” machines to remove its inedible hull. This process yields brown rice with the bran layers surrounding the kernel still intact. Brown rice can be used as is, or further milled by machines that rub the grains together under pressure. This abrasion removes the bran layer to produce white or “polished” whole kernels of rice. Finally, the white rice is enriched with a thin coating of vitamins to replace some of the nutrients lost during milling.

Some American mills produce parboiled rice, favored by those who desire extra-separate, firmer grains after cooking. Parboiling involves a steam pressure process where the rough rice is soaked, steamed and dried before milling.

Technology has enabled the U.S. rice industry to consistently produce a product of unsurpassed quality. For example, many U.S. rice mills use laser sorters that look for broken, discolored or immature kernels and remove them from the whole kernels of rice during processing. This ensures consistency in appearance and size.

This modern technology and expertise are, in part, responsible for U.S.-grown rice’s reputation for high quality around the world. The fact that the United States is one of the world’s largest exporters of rice attests to its broad appeal. An equally impressive fact is that nearly 90 percent of the rice consumed in the United States is produced within its borders.