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How Do I Choose the Best Converted Rice?

Parboiled brown rice is used to make converted rice.
A rice plant.
Brown rice is soaked and steamed to make converted rice.
A field of rice.
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  • Written By: Kristeen Moore
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 17 September 2014
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Converted rice is made from partially boiled, or parboiled, brown grains that are re-dried and packaged for sale in grocery stores. The primary advantage to these grains is that you can reap the heart-healthy benefits of brown rice but spend less time preparing them. Parboiled rice is beige in color, which often looks like a mix between white and brown grains. When comparing product labels, you should choose a converted rice that is originally processed from long-grain brown versions, as this indicates the best quality. Organic versions of the rice are also widely available, but keep in mind that such products might cost more.

One of the first things that you can look for in the best converted rice is its color. The process of parboiling brown rice strips some of its color, resulting in beige grains. Quality converted rice should never be white, as this indicates over-processing, and the grains will likely be less nutritious and sticky when cooked. A package of converted grains that are deeper brown means that the product was not parboiled long enough, so it might take longer to boil the food at home.

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Aside from the appearance of the grains, you can also determine the best converted rice by comparing ingredient labels on various packages. Quality parboiled rice should always be derived from brown grains; if a brand is made from a mixture of white grains as well, you should opt for a different product. White and brown rice require different boiling times and produce varying results, so the process can be difficult if you choose a product with both types mixed together. Boxed versions of the rice are the best solution for small portions, but you might consider buying the product in bulk if you plan on using it often.

Organic converted grains are available in supermarkets, similar to other types of rice. When organic rice is harvested, farmers do not use any pesticides and herbicides, a process that is often used in conventional mass production of the grains. It is thought that organic foods may be safer because they do not contain any chemicals or synthetic materials. If you are interested in this type of converted rice, look for a package that clearly states that the product is derived from organic brown grains. Keep in mind that this type of rice might be healthier, but it can cost a great deal more in some regions.

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