Grains of rice may undergo various forms of processing before reaching supermarket shelves:
- ‘paddy’: the whole ‘rough’ rice grain, including the husk;
- ‘cargo’: also called brown or wholegrain rice. It has been hulled but still has the bran and germ;
- ‘milled’: commonly known as ‘white rice’, it consists primarily of starch;
- ‘parboiled’: partially boiled in the husk, is cargo rice that has been soaked, steamed, dried and then hulled. Thus 80% of the vitamins in the pericardium are retained in the grains, which no longer stick together.
Grains of rice also come in a variety of sizes used in various dishes. Long grain rice is over 6 mm in length and is used in rice-based meals, such as Indian biryani, or is served as a side dish. So-called ‘medium-sized’ grains measure between 5 mm and 6 mm in length, while round rice is less than 5mm. The latter two types are particularly suited to the preparation of savoury dishes, such as risotto, paella and salad, or desserts, such as rice pudding.