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Difference between Brown Rice and White Rice

Rice is a versatile grain which is widely consumed by people across the world. It serves as a staple food for more than half of the world's population. It is an easily digestible food with many different varieties like brown rice, white rice, red rice and more. Each variety has its own flavor and health benefits. The two commonly consumed varieties of rice that we usually see in the grocery stores are brown and white rice. Let us see how brown rice differs from white rice!

Brown Rice:

Brown rice is natural whole grain rice. It has the outer hull (outermost layer) removed but retains the other parts or layers that provide it the tan colour and nut-like flavor. It is called whole grain as it retains all parts or layers of a grain: the germ and bran layers are left intact, not removed during the milling process. So, in other words, brown rice is an unrefined and unpolished whole grain, a least processed form of rice. Brown rice is more nutritious than white rice. It is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, fibers etc. One cup of brown rice contains 86 mg of magnesium, 4.5 g protein, 3.5 g of fiber and 1.2 mg of zinc. The brown rice gets its name from its natural brown husk.

White Rice:

White rice is the edible white rice kernel which has the outer layers (husk, germ and bran) removed. In other words, when husk including the germ and bran layers are removed from brown rice during the milling process so that only the white kernel lefts behind, it is called white rice. So, white rice is produced by stripping off the husk, germ and bran layers from the brown rice through milling. This variety of rice is heavily polished to give it the white colour. After milling, the white rice is enriched and fortified with vitamins and minerals as the nutrients are lost during processing. White rice has a long shelf life than brown rice; it can be stored for as long as 10 years.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between brown rice and white rice are as follows:

Brown Rice White Rice
It is a whole grain as it has all parts of a grain: germ and bran layers except the husk. It is not a whole grain as it does not have the germ and bran layers.
It is a least processed form of rice. It is heavily processed.
It takes more time than white rice to cook. It cooks faster than brown rice.
It has a short shelf life; around six months so cannot be stored for long periods of time. It has a long shelf life. It can be stored for long periods of time, around 10 years.
It is more nutritious than white rice. It is less nutritious than brown rice.
It is chewier. It is less chewy.
It has a low glycemic index. It has a high glycemic index.
It is rich in fibers. It has fewer fibers than brown rice.
Its soaking time is 8-10 hours. Its soaking time is around 30 minutes.
It helps lose weight as the carbs in brown rice are less likely to be stored as body fat. The carbs in the white rice are more likely to be stored as body fat.
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