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Rice in food manufacturing


Rice is processed and sold in various convenient forms. Although dry rice does not need much preparation (i.e. no peeling and a short cooking time), there are some pre-cooked/prepared products available: frozen, canned, quick or fast cook rice, boil-in-the-bag rice. At a retail level, microwavable rice prepared in small pouches now accounts for the largest proportion of sales by value.

Rice is also the basis for many products, and used by food manufacturers in numerous ways including baby foods, sausages, stuffing mixers, batters, confectionery, breakfast cereals and pet foods. It is also very commonly used in the preparation of gluten-free foods.  A proportion of rice flour may even occasionally be blended with wheat flour to extend the life of a loaf of bread by 24 hours.

Stored correctly, rice will keep for a considerable time. It needs to be kept dry to prevent development of bacteria. Before cooking there is little water content (around 10% or less). Left-over rice should be cooled quickly, then covered to prevent drying out or absorption of smells/flavours from other foods and kept in a refrigerator for up to 24 hours (temperature less than 5C) or packaged and frozen. Cooked rice, like any other food, is susceptible to bacterial growth if not stored and re-heated correctly.

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