Arkansas Remains U.S. Leader In High-Quality Rice Families Trust
More than 20 billion pounds of rice are grown in the U.S. each year, and Arkansas remains the top producer, followed by California, Louisiana, Missouri, Texas, and Mississippi, respectively. In fact, Arkansas grows nearly as much as all the other top producers combined. Contributing more than $34 billion to our economy, Arkansas rice finds its way to family dinner tables and restaurants across the country. Given that everyday people have an opportunity to enjoy Grown in the USA rice, these are things the professionals at Arkansas River Rice Mill want you to know.
Rice ranks among the edible grass seeds we typically call grains. Each seed includes a tough outer husk that must be removed during the milling process. Under the husk is a layer of bran that is generally removed in products such as white rice. The bran is considered nutritious and is left in place when processing brown rice.
Beneath the bran is where a small kernel resides that provides B vitamins, protein, minerals, and healthy carbohydrates. There are upwards of 120,000 varieties of rice grown based on milling, starch content, kernel, and taste. For the purposes of selecting a product, these are ways Arkansas rice is commonly categorized.
Primarily grown in Arkansas, long grain brown rice leaves the husk in place. Its white counterpart removes the husk, exposing the long slender kernel that generally extends up to 8 mm, usually three times its width. Long grain rice tends to be relatively low in starch, which invites a light texture when cooked. Long grain rice is also known to separate well when prepared. This makes the choice particularly popular for dishes such as rice pilaf, stir-fries, and Southern cuisine, among others.
Arkansas and neighboring states also grow an abundance of medium grain rice crops that are milled into white and brown products. The kernels run up to 6 mm, and they have a tendency to cling together when cooked. Medium products also tend to come out fluffier as the starches are released, making them a preferred choice for sticky and table rice dishes.
Perhaps the most important factors in producing high-quality rice products involve growing and milling. Smartly planted and nurtured long and medium grain crops start with a keen advantage. The surge in organically grown crops has also positioned rice as a health-conscious staple.
That being said, the advanced technology that has integrated rice milling equipment makes a significant difference as well. For example, the raw rice paddy that comes to the processing facility is usually flush with straw and inert matter. These items must be effectively removed during the pre-cleaning process to prepare the crop for husk removal. This too stands as a delicate step in producing a high-yield rice product because the husk can account for as much as 20 percent of the raw rice weight.
State-of-the-art equipment can remove upwards of 90 percent of the husk with one pass. Additional steps are also required to create attractive and delicious white rice, such as polishing and separating grains that meet industry standards. And small fragments are filtered off to be used as brewer’s rice.
The essential point is that top-quality rice requires attention to detail, supported by industry-leading equipment to ensure each batch meets Grown in the USA expectations.
The experienced professionals at Arkansas River Rice Mill are committed to providing the highest quality rice enjoyed by American families across the country. We employ only state-of-the-art equipment, industry-leading practices, and flexible packaging options to meet our valued customers’ needs. If you are interested in working with a reliable rice organization, contact Arkansas River Rice Mill.