White vs. Brown

People often ask; what is the difference between white rice and brown rice? They both come from the same rice grain or plant. The main difference between the two forms of rice is in the milling process. This  process affects the color and nutritional content of the rice.

When only the
hull, or outermost layer of a grain of rice is removed, the result is brown rice. When the next layers are removed, the bran layer and the germ, leaving the starchy endosperm, white rice is produced.

Brown rice and white rice have similar amounts of calories and carbohydrates. However, brown rice contains more iron and fiber.  Brown rice usually has a nuttier flavor and chewiness compared to white rice and requires a longer cooking time.

Structure of Rice

Awn: Tip of the rice grain, which is removed during processing
Lemma: Three protective layers of “skin” (brown and yellow) that make up 20% of the grain’s total weight.
Caryopsis: What remains of the grain after processing, which is what most of eat. It is composed mainly of starch and represents 60% of the grain’s total weight.
Aleuronic (Bran) Layer: Internal skin containing vitamins, minerals and fat.
Embryo: Each grain of rice contains an embryo, from which a new shoot will germinate. During the refining process, the embryo breaks away from the grain.