When we look at a bowl of rice we see a tasty meal ready for our consumption. While this is true, there is so much more going on. Each little kernel is its own microcosm of complex layers and structures. Understanding these components is key to unlocking the wonders of custom milled-to-order rice.
What 4 layers make up a rice kernel?
When rice is harvested it consists of 4 base layers. The outer hull, the bran layer, the endosperm and the germ layer.
The hull is the inedible outer protective layer. It is the first layer to be removed in order to make rice edible.
Underneath the hull we find another protective layer called the bran layer. The bran layer is brown, chewy and fibrous. It is nutrient dense, containing high amounts of oil, proteins, vitamins (specifically vitamin B) and minerals. Furthermore, it is what gives brown rice its distinctive coloring.
Towards the base of the rice kernel we find the germ. The germ provides nourishment for the kernel while it is growing. Phytochemicals, proteins and vitamins can be found within this layer. Phytochemicals are known to be a powerful antioxidant.
The endosperm is the white and starchy interior that encases the germ. During growth, the endosperm provides energy for the kernel. While it does contain some protein and B vitamins it is mostly comprised of carbohydrates.
How does milling affect these layers?
As the rice is milled these layers are “peeled” away. This process starts with polishing off the indigestible hull layer to create edible brown rice. Brown rice maintains the entirety of the nutrient rich bran layer which gives it its iconic beige hue. As we can see in the above chart, as the milling percentage increases the percent of the bran layer retained decreases. Milling changes the composition of the rice kernel. These changes impact taste, texture, nutrients and cooking time. Customizing the milling rate allows you to modify these characteristics to your preference. To learn more about what milling rate is right for you read our article on Milling Rates and Dates 101.
And don't forget to check out our Gawaji, Charm Dream, Golden Queen III and Samgwang custom milled-to-order rice, only at Kim'C Market.