How Long Will Bulk Rice Last: A Guide to Rice Storage

Rice is a staple food for millions of people around the world, offering versatility, nutrition, and affordability. If you're considering purchasing rice in bulk, you may be wondering how long it will last before losing its quality and flavor. There are a few factors that affect the shelf life of bulk rice, and we’ll provide some useful tips for proper storage.

Factors Affecting Rice Shelf Life

Rice, in its natural state, has a long shelf life due to its low moisture content. However, several factors can influence how long bulk rice remains fresh and flavorful.

Moisture Content

Moisture is the primary enemy of rice storage. The ideal moisture content for long-term storage is around 13%, as excessive moisture can lead to mold growth or spoilage.


Storing rice in a cool and dry place is crucial to preserving its quality. High temperatures can accelerate the breakdown of rice oils and lead to rancidity.

Oxygen and Light Exposure

Exposure to oxygen and light can cause rice to oxidize and deteriorate more quickly. Proper packaging and storage containers can help minimize these effects.

Types of Bulk Rice and Their Shelf Life

Different types of rice have varying shelf lives due to variations in their grain characteristics. Here are some common types of rice and their approximate shelf life:

White Rice

White rice, including long-grain, medium-grain, and short-grain varieties, has a longer shelf life compared to brown rice due to its lower oil content. When stored properly, white rice can last up to 4-5 years.

Brown Rice

Brown rice retains the bran layer, which contains oils that can turn rancid over time. While brown rice has a shorter shelf life than white rice, it can still be stored for 1-2 years if stored correctly.

Proper Storage Tips for Bulk Rice

To maximize the shelf life and quality of your bulk rice, follow these essential storage tips:

Store in Airtight Containers

Transfer your bulk rice to airtight containers that can keep moisture, oxygen, and light at bay. Mason jars, food-grade plastic containers, or sealed Mylar bags are excellent options.

Choose Cool and Dry Storage Areas

Find a cool and dry area in your pantry or kitchen to store the rice. Avoid areas near heat sources or where temperature fluctuations occur frequently, such as above the stove or near the refrigerator.

Keep Away from Strong Odors

Rice can absorb odors from its surroundings, which may affect its taste. Store bulk rice away from strong-smelling substances like spices, cleaning chemicals, or onions.

Buy Bulk Rice from Arkansas River Rice

When stored properly, bulk rice can retain its quality and flavor for an extended period. By considering factors such as moisture content, temperature, and packaging, you can ensure the longevity of your rice supply. Under proper conditions, white rice can last 4-5 years while brown rice lasts 1-2 years. 

If you're in search of premium-quality bulk rice, Arkansas River Rice offers a wide range of options. Don't compromise on taste or freshness – choose Arkansas River Rice for all your bulk rice needs.