What is parboiled rice, and why Center wants to stop purchasing it

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What is parboiled rice, and why Center wants to stop purchasing it

  • Telangana CM and members of Cabinet staged a dharna at Telangana House, demanding a uniform paddy procurement policy.
  • The protest came after the Center's step to stop the purchase of excess parboiled rice, of which Telangana is a major producer.

About Parboiled Rice

Parboiling of rice is not a new practice, and has been followed in India since ancient times.

  • The dictionary meaning of ‘parboil’ is ‘partly cooked by boiling’.
  • It refers to rice that has been partially boiled at the paddy stage, before milling.
  • There is no specific definition of parboiled rice of the Food Corporation of India or the Food Ministry.

There are several processes for parboiling rice:

  • Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysuru, uses a method in which the paddy is soaked in hot water for three hours, in contrast to the more common method in which paddy is soaked for 8 hours.
  • The water is then drained and the paddy steamed for 20 minutes.
  • The paddy is dried in the shade in the method used by the CFTRI, but is sun-dried in the common method.
  • The Paddy Processing Research Center (PPRC), Thanjavur follows a method known as the chromate soaking process.
  • It uses chromate, a family of salt in which the anion contains both chromium and oxygen, which removes the odor from the wet rice.

Rice Varieties Suitable for Parboiling

All varieties can be processed into parboiled rice, but it is ideal to use long slender varieties to prevent breakage during milling.

  • Aromatic varieties should not be parboiled because the process can make it lose its aroma.

Benefits of the Parboiling

  • Parboiling makes rice tougher.
  • This reduces the chances of the rice kernel breaking during milling.
  • Parboiling also increases the nutrient value of the rice.
  • The parboiled rice has a higher resistance to insects and fungi.


  • The rice becomes darker and may smell unpleasant due to prolonged soaking.
  • Setting up a parboiling rice milling unit requires a higher investment than a raw rice milling unit.

Stock of Parboiled Rice in the country

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  • The total stock of parboiled rice is 40.58 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) as on April, 2022, according to the food Ministry.
  • Out of this, the highest stock is in Telangana at 16.52 LMT, followed by Tamil Nadu (12.09 LMT) and Kerala (3 LMT).
  • The stock was in the range 0.04-2.92 LMT in 10 other states -Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Karnataka, Bihar, Punjab and Haryana.
  • The Center will procure 1.36 LMT of parboiled rice from Telangana for the Kharif Market Season (KMS) of 2020-21.
  • For the ongoing KMS 2021-22, the Center expects to procure 5.82 LMT parboiled rice from only two states-Jharkhand (3.74LM) and Odisha (2.08 LMT).
  • From the other 10 rice-producing states, including Telangana, the Ministry has no plan to procure parboiled rice.
  • In the coming days, the total parboiled rice stock will increase to 47.76 LMT.

The demand for Parboiled Rice

The Food Ministry pegs the parboiled rice demand at 20 LMT per annum for distribution under the National Food Security Act, 2013.

  • The demand for parboiled rice has come down in recent years.
  • In the last few years, production in parboiled rice-consuming states such as Jharkhand, Kerala and Tamil Nadu has increased, resulting in less movement to the deficit states.
  • FCI used to procure parboiled rice from states such as Telangana to supply to these states.
  • In recent years, parboiled rice production has increased in these states.
  • But the current stock of parboiled rice is sufficient to meet the demand for the next two years.


The center should come up with some initiative so as to procure more parboiled rice from these rice producing states. It will boost cooperation and ensure cooperative federalism between center and state.

Exam Track

Prelims Takeaway

  • Parboiled Rice
  • Benefits of the Parboiling
  • Disadvantages of the Parboiling
  • Demand for Parboiled Rice

Mains Takeaway

Q. Discuss the advantages and benefits of parboiled rice. How Parboiled rice can contribute to ensure food security.