Advantages And Disadvantages Of Parboiling

Parboiling rice is originated in India. Half of the Indian’s crop is parboiled. It is the rice that has been partially boiled in the husk. Parboiled rice is generally subjected to milling to obtain soft textured white rice. In Asian countries especially in India, cooking parboiled rice is a routine process of cooking rice compared to other countries.

Inorganic Arsenic (iAs) is a Group I Carcinogen that is present in rice. Rice parboiling is the only method suited to all rice varieties allowing us to consume rice more safely.

What are present in parboiled rice?

Parboiled rice is also a source of nutrients like iron and calcium. Compared to white rice, parboiled rice contains less calories, low carbohydrates and also rich in fiber and protein. So, parboiled rice is the best alternative to traditional white rice. It may provide healthy gut and also reduce blood sugar levels.

Methods of parboiling:

  1. Soaking
  2. Steaming and
  3. Drying

It is the boiled one and unpolished one.

Parboiled rice has breakage during milling process so it attains coarse and medium rice of soft texture.

It involves soaking paddy in water for short time and heated once or twice in steam and dried before milling. This the processing of parboiled rice.

Conventional Process:

  • Steeping or soaking paddy in cold water for 2 or 3 days in large cement tanks.
  • Steaming of the soaked paddy for 5-10 minutes.
  • Drying in the sunlight.

1 . Cold Soaking Process:

During soaking of paddy in cold water for 2-3 days, fermentation sets in and off flavours will develop in the grain. Toxic substances may also produced by the grain due to moulds present in it. For example aflatoxin may produced from aspergillus flavus.

2. Hot Soaking Process:

This involves in the following steps:

  • Soaking of paddy inn water at 65-70 for 3-4 hours.
  • Draining of water and steaming of soaked paddy in the same vessel for 5-10 minutes.
  • Drying of paddy in the sun or in mechanical driers.
  • During parboiling, the milled rice becomes slightly shorter and broader.

Advantages of Parboiling:

  • Dehusking of parboiled rice is easy. Mild parboiled rice has greater resistance to insects and fungus.
  • Grain becomes tougher resulting in reduced losses during milling .
  • By this  parboiling eliminates breakage completely. Loss of nutrients due to the removal of husk and bran in milling are decreased.
  • Part of scutellum and germ which are rich in vitamin B get fixed to grain, so that vit-B losses become decreased.
  • Parboiling improves digestion and it will not turn into glutenous mass when cooked.
  • Losses of water-soluble nutrients due to washing of rice is less in this rice compared to raw rice.
  • The rice grain become swollen during cooking so that it attains soft texture.

Disadvantages of Parboiling:

  • Sometimes, it has an unpleasant smell and change in colour.
  • But modern methods of parboiling avoids this problem.
  • Because of long soaking in traditional process, mycotoxins may develop in parboiled rice and cause health hazards.
  • By controlling soaking and steaming, colour and cooking quality can be maintained.
  • Heat treatment during parboiling destroys some natural antioxidants and hence parboiled rice develops more rancidity than raw rice during storage. These are the disadvantages of parboiling rice.

These are the methods of parboiling which are been using, this process had both advantages and disadvantages as explained in this article.


Parboiled rice is a cooking method that involves steaming the rice and then boiling it in water before it is dried. It is often used in Asian dishes because of its tender texture. Parboiled rice has a lot of advantages over other types of rice. It has the same amount of nutrients as white rice, but it has less calories and more fiber than brown or wild types.