Long grain rice is so popular in our life but not everyone actually knows clearly about this interesting type of rice. What is long grain rice? How many varieties of them are there? And how to distinguish between Jasmine and Basmati long grain rice?… Let’s find out all the necessary information about long grain rice in this article!
- 1 Three main different types of rice: Short, medium, and long grain rice
- 2 Common types of long grain rice
- 3 Main locations for cultivating and exporting long grain rice
- 4 Tips for choosing good quality long grain rice
- 4.1 Tip 1: Pay attention to long grain rice’s color
- 4.2 Tip 2. Pay attention to long grain rice’s texture
- 4.3 Tip 3. Select types of long grain rice that do not stick when squeezed
- 4.4 Tip 4. Carefully observe the long grain rice’s appearance
- 4.5 Tip 5. Check to see if the rice has lice.
- 4.6 Tip 6. Kiss the aroma of rice
- 4.7 Tip 7. Bite rice grains to test the quality
- 4.8 Tip 8. Be careful with cheap long grain rice
- 5 Things to keep in mind for buying/importing the best long grain rice
Three main different types of rice: Short, medium, and long grain rice
Cultivated originally in Asia more than 4000 years ago, rice then has been spread across the world and become one of the most important staple foods that feed almost a third of the global population every day.
There are many varieties of rice grown around the world, and they can be categorized by many factors, such as the degree of flavor, milling, kernel size, and starch content.
Generally, based on the average length and the length-to-width ratio when cooked, rice is broken up into 3 main groups: Long grain rice, medium grain rice, and short grain rice. Each group is characterized by its own features, varieties, prices, and uses. Now let’s take a look at these types!
Long grain rice
- Long grain rice, as its name suggests, has a long and elongated shape. It is slim and lengthy, with the length measurement for each grain varies about 6.8 – 9 mm, and almost four or five times longer than its width.
- Long grain rice is divided into many other types. Each type has its distinctive features and varies in aroma and texture. Jasmine rice, for example, has a floral scent while some other long grain rice types have a nutty scent. Or another example, with its more grassy and greener aroma, Jasmine is also rated as stickier than basmati… But in general, most types of long grain rice have a very characteristic light and delicate fragrance.
- Long grain rice also has the lowest starch content, that’s why its grains are drier when cooked and don’t cling to each other like short and medium grain rice. Besides, long grain rice normally has a sweet, aromatic taste, and is preferred to be consumed in most Asia regions.
Short grain rice
- Named for its size, short grain rice is just a bit longer than it is wide, usually from 4-5mm long. It’s chubby, sometimes almost round with pearly white or brown color, and is more glutinous and starchy when compared to long grain rice.
- This squat rice when cooked has quite a slight springiness to the bite, soft and stickier than the rest types. Therefore short grain rice is commonly used for making sweet or creamy dishes, such as sushi, molded salads, and pudding.
- Like long grain rice, there are many varieties in the short grain group, but it can be said that Japanese short grain rice, some of the sweet rice that is often used in Southeast Asian desserts, or the less-sticky Spanish bomba… are the most typical names.
Medium grain rice
- In comparison to long grain rice, medium rice is moister and has a shorter kernel, about two to three times as long as it is wide (5-6mm long), but it’s less starchy than short rice.
- This variety of rice will produce moist, tender, and slightly chewy grains when cooked, with the tendency to clump up and stick together as they cool.
- Medium grain rice is ideally used for making dishes with a creamy consistency like paella or risotto, sweet, and Asian dishes with some typical varieties including Carnaroli, Arborio, and Valencia.
⇒ In summary, we can distinguish short, medium, and long grain rice in the following table:
|Long grain rice||Medium grain rice||Short grain rice|
|Average length||6.0 – 8.0 mm||5.0 – 6.0 mm||4.0 -5.0 mm|
|Length-to-width ratio||approx 4-5 or more||approx 2-3||less than 2|
|Appearance||Long, slender||Short and wider than long-grain type||Short, plump and almost round|
|Characteristics||Fluffy texture; dry, firm, distinct grains||Soft texture; non – starchy, some stickiness, creamy||Soft texture; sticky, starchy|
|Types||White and Brown Basmati, Jasmine||Arborio, Carnaroli, and Vialone Nano||Japanese short-grain, bomba, Chinese black rice, short-grain glutinous rice|
|Used for||Pilaf, biryani, curry, Indian, Palestinian and Thai cuisine||Paella, risotto, sweet, and Asian dishes||Sushi, paella, rice pudding, sticky rice desserts (like mochi), rice balls|
Common types of long grain rice
Long grain rice can be found being consumed in many countries around the world, but mostly in India and Asia. With the higher and higher demand, long grain rice quickly develops into many different varieties, such as American long grain rice, long grain brown rice DT8,…
But among them, Jasmine and Basmati long grain rice are the two most well-known categories.
Jasmine Rice – The most popular long grain rice
Jasmine long grain rice is one of the most popular rice that is used worldwide because of its aromatic flavor as well as reasonable price
Origin and features of Jasmine rice
Described as having the smell of pandan, popcorn, or even floral scents like jasmine flower, long grain rice Jasmine is famous for being one of the best grains of rice there is.
According to The Spruce Eats, Jasmine is a long grain rice variety of Oryza sativa, also known as “fragrant rice” or Asian rice, which was firstly developed in Thailand in the 1950s, then spread and grew mainly in Thailand (Khao hom mali), Vietnam (Huong Lai), Laos and Cambodia (phka rumduol or Cambodian Jasmine rice). Nowadays, Jasmine long grain rice has been exported all over the world, bringing a huge economic value to the countries that produce it. This type of long grain rice is widely consumed throughout Asia, India, and the Middle East, especially in Persian (Iranian) cuisine.
Known for its sweet and nutty flavor, along with a distinctive aroma of fragrant flowers and buttered popcorn that not all long grain rice has, Jasmine long grain rice is long, clear, and has a shiny white color.
When cooked, the rice softens with pretty moisture, sweet taste, a natural aromatic and a tendency to cling together – a bit stickier than the common long grain rice.
Types of Jasmine rice
Jasmine long grain rice ranges in a variety of colors, such as black, purple or red rice, and each of them contains different nutritious contents… But in general, Jasmine long grain rice can be classified into two main types: White Jasmine rice and Brown Jasmine rice, which we can spot easily based on their colors.
- White Jasmine long grain rice tends to be more popular and is often what people think of first when it comes to jasmine rice. Like common white rice, white Jasmine long grain rice also goes through a refined process, including removing the husk, outer bran layer, and germ, after that it leaves the white starchy behind. This results in stripping the white long grain rice of its nutrients, dietary fiber, and vital fatty acids as well. White jasmine long grain rice has a floral scent and a sweet flavor.
- Brown jasmine long grain rice has the same unique aroma as traditional white Jasmine long grain rice but is rated to have a more nutty flavor and firmer texture than the refined white version. Because of retaining the dietary fiber, and essential fatty acids that are reduced in the white version, brown Jasmine long grain rice is considered healthier, creating a fuller longer feeling and also more natural. It is characterized by a light, herbal fragrance with a sweet buttery flavor.
Basmati Rice – The most aromatic long grain rice
Basmatic long grain rice is known as the queen of fragrance and is one of pride of India as well as Pakistan.
Origin and features
Basmati is a type of long grain rice and is best famous for its aroma – that’s you can see from its name, that “Basmati” means “queen of fragrance” when literally translated from Hindi. Though grown domestically in many countries, this fragrant and nutty-tasting long grain rice was originally cultivated and grown in some specific geographical areas – at the foothills of the Himalayas in India and Pakistan, with India is still the leading exporter and produces about up to ⅔ of the total of the world’s basmati today.
Like other long grain rice, Basmati is characterized by its slender grains. However, Jasmine long grain rice has slightly rounded ends as compared to basmati long grain rice in which grains are slender and needle-shaped. In fact, it can be called extra-long and be at least twice its original size after cooking.
As said above, Basmati is much more aromatic with a stronger fragrance than the rest types of long grain rice. It can be easily recognized by a distinctive flavor of floral aroma and a light nutty scent. In comparison with Jasmine long grain rice, Basmati is more separate and much drier upon cooking. When cooked, the Basmati rice’s texture will become tender but its grains remain firm, not splitting and sticky together as Jasmine long grain rice.
Types of Basmati long grain rice
Basmati long grain rice can be broken into two main varieties; White and Brown. White Basmati has a more neutral flavor than Brown Basmati, which has a nutty flavor with a herbal scent. Although essentially the same grain, they are also treated in different ways (like White Jasmine long grain rice and Brown Jasmine long grain rice)
More specifically, according to the seeds Act 1966, there are 34 kinds of Basmati rice, namely 1121 Sella/Steam/Raw, Pusa Sella/Steam/Raw, Sugantha Sella/Steam/Raw, Sharbati Sella/Steam/Raw…
Here you can see specifications of some popular Basmati long grain rice:
⇒ In summary, you can see the comparison between Jasmine long grain rice and Basmati long grain rice in the following table:
|Standard||Long grain rice|
|Jasmine||Basmati||Other common white long grain rice|
|Shape||Long, a bit round at the tips of the grain||Extra-long, very thin, a bit pointed at the ends||Elongated, slim|
|Color||The surface is shiny white, silver-free grain||Pearly white or slightly golden hue in color||Clear or milky white in color|
|Length||from 6,8 to 7 mm||from 8 to 9 mm||from 6,0 mm or more|
|Aroma||Aromatic, has a natural smell like jasmine or pandan leaves flavor.||Most aromatic with a naturally nutty flavor, herbal scent||Slightly fragrant (or not)|
|Taste||– Slightly sweet
– Soft, flexible with a sweet taste, long-lasting aroma
– Nutty, but not as much as basmati rice
|– Soft, nutty, and fluffy with a distinctive fragrant and strong aroma||– Soft, a bit dry, and slightly aromatic.|
|The texture of cooking||Grains have moisture, so they slightly clump together, flexible and sticky||Grains separate from each other, very dry, fluffier and expand 2 -3 times in size||Grains are often dry and separate from each other|
|Nutritional value||– Contains a lot of vitamins and minerals.
– Higher carbohydrate content than other varieties of long grain rice, therefore providing a lot of energy to the body.
|Basmati long grain rice has a comparable nutritious profile as jasmine rice. However, because Jasmine long grain rice has more carbs, it will keep you fuller for longer.||In addition to giving many necessary nutrients to the body, common white long grain rice is claimed to have higher calories, fat, and sugar content than the other 2 types of rice.|
The average price of the long grain rice
Depending on the quality of rice grain as well as other conditions, such as demand, logistic fees, and tariffs, geography… price of long grain rice can be different among countries and suppliers. Below are the average prices of some common types of long grain rice from Vietnam
|Length||USD per ton|
|Jasmine 5%||6.8 mm||551 – 583|
|ST25 5%||7.5 – 8.5 mm||915 – 968|
|ST24 5%||7.5 – 8.5 mm||644 – 805|
|ST21 5%||7.5 – 8.5 mm||496 – 620|
|KDM 5%||7 mm||666 – 704|
Source: May/2022, K-Agriculture
Main locations for cultivating and exporting long grain rice
As mentioned above, long grain rice is broken into many varieties, and each type of rice will have its own characteristics as well as different natural conditions for growing. But in general, two main long grain rice varieties, including Jasmine and Basmati, are grown mostly in Asia.
Top Jasmine long grain rice exporters
Southeast Asia is seen as the homeland of Jasmine long grain rice, so most Jasmine long grain rice suppliers are mainly concentrated in this area, especially in 4 leading countries including Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. While these four countries are large direct exporters, some other countries like the Philippines and Singapore are often intermediate suppliers. They will buy raw Jasmine long grain rice from Thailand and Vietnam, then process the rice in some steps for either domestic consumption or re-exporting to other markets.
Jasmine long grain rice from Thailand is the most well-known among the four countries. Compared to Thailand, Jasmine long grain rice from Vietnam has been considered to have the same high quality and natural aroma, but its price is often lower, so Vietnam Jasmine rice is a more and more attractive choice for importers. Cambodia Jasmine long grain rice, at that time, is considered to be healthy because of its organic growing method.
Top Basmati long grain rice exporters
What are major Basmati rice exporters in the world today? Though grown in many countries, the most well-known Basmati long grain rice is cultivated in India and Pakistan. In 2019, two of these countries accounted for almost 100% of the global Basmati rice exported.
- India: is the largest supplier that accounts for nearly 70% of the world’s Basmati long grain rice production in the world. In 2020, this country exported up to 5.5 million tons of Basmati long grain rice to important markets such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and UAE. The main Basmati rice-producing regions are the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Western Uttar Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir.
- Pakistan: After India, Pakistan is the second-largest Basmati long grain rice exporter in the world, with about 890,207 tonnes of rice (valuing $790 million) exported in fiscal 2020. Almost 50% of Pakistan’s Basmati rice is cultivated in the Punjab province. Although Pakistan Basmati long grain rice is considered to have the same quality as India’s, its price is usually higher compared to its neighbor because India often uses the low price to compete in the international market.
- Indonesia: Indonesia produced its own native version of Basmati long grain rice in West Java and Central Kalimantan, with an estimated output capacity of 8.2 tonnes per hectare. Basmati seedlings here were originally delivered from Pakistan in 2007, but could not be produced owing to soil incompatibility. In 2017, the Ministry of Agriculture succeeded in producing and cultivating a hybrid of basmati and local rice. The production of Basmati long grain rice in Indonesia is small, so Basmati long grain rice grown here is usually served for its domestic market.
- Others: Nepal, Sri Lanka…
Tips for choosing good quality long grain rice
There are hundreds of types of long grain rice with a bunch of advertising words out there saying that their rice has the best quality. But what is that best quality? Is the rice with a very white color actually good?
In fact, many buyers had been confused, mistakenly, or even deceived into paying large sums of money while receiving poor-quality rice in return because of not knowing the important characteristics of good long grain rice. So how to avoid this bad situation and know which type of long grain rice is worth buying?
Yes, first of all, we need to look closely at both rice’s physical and chemical characteristics, as well as know the best sorts of long grain rice to consider, because each variety of long grain rice has its unique features. However, there are also some simple and helpful tips that experienced and professional purchasers often use when buying long grain rice, that you can easily apply for yourself the next time.
Tip 1: Pay attention to long grain rice’s color
Different varieties of long grain rice has different colors and that is why you need to consider color as a factor. To ensure that you are buying unadulterated rice, the color of healthy rice will not be too white. If you find the rice grains are white then you should know that there may be a whitening agent mixed. So it is, preferably, to choose the long grain rice that has a bright color with not much yellowish.
Tip 2. Pay attention to long grain rice’s texture
When purchasing rice, pay attention to the texture of the grains; this will tell you whether or not they have been polished. The whole grain of rice will not be smooth.
To test the texture, take a handful of grain and press it between your fingers with your other hand. If the grains break easily, you should know that type of long grain rice is unfit for consumption. Therefore, you must select grains that are sturdy, and not prone to breakage. You should, on the other hand, squeeze the handful of grains in your hand. If the grains cling together, they are not worth purchasing.
Tip 3. Select types of long grain rice that do not stick when squeezed
Another important tip for getting good rice are making sure the rice does not stick together when squeezed. Long grain rice that is held to the hand when pressed implies that the rice has a lubricating content, which can be harmful to the health and cause problems in one’s body.
Tip 4. Carefully observe the long grain rice’s appearance
Make sure you know and can distinguish the texture of different long grain rice, such as Jasmine long grain rice is a bit moisture and sticky while Basmati long grain rice is separate and dryer.
Besides, look carefully at the rice’s texture to see if that rice has a high or not rice texture and whether there is a trace of flour in our hands or not. If these indications are present, the rice is likely to be old.
Tip 5. Check to see if the rice has lice.
In addition to the tips mentioned above, you must also check to ensure that the types of long grain rice we buy have no ticks. Because rice that has fleas generally indicates that it is old
Tip 6. Kiss the aroma of rice
The long grain rice that you pick should have a natural flavor. There are quite a lot of varieties of long grain rice on the market right now that contain artificial fragrances. And rice, which contains that fragrance production, will have more fragrant flavor but is more harmful to our health as well. Therefore, avoid this sort of long grain rice.
If you breathe rice and it has a musty smell, this indicates that the rice may be old. When this type of long grain rice is cooked for too long, it loses flavor and becomes quickly spoiled. So make sure to select rice that does not have a musty smell.
Tip 7. Bite rice grains to test the quality
Another technique you can use to ensure the quality of long grain rice, is by biting the rice grains. Rice that has good quality, is often firm and sturdy, so when bitten, it is not easily fragile or broken. This kind of rice is especially good for diabetes, and when consumed, it also has a pleasant taste and fluffiness.
It’s also necessary to note that fragile long grain rice wants to have not a little water. This is usually carried out by fraud sellers to increase the weight of rice. Rice in these cases won’t last long, be easily musty, and find fleas.
Tip 8. Be careful with cheap long grain rice
There are many types of long grain rice with different prices offered in the market. But as the saying goes, you get what you pay for, you need to consider and check very carefully when a supplier offers unusually low-priced rice. It could be shoddy rice, illegal, or a scam. And it’d be better to get the updated list of rice wholesale prices and choose a credible supplier who has experience and knowledge in rice.
Things to keep in mind for buying/importing the best long grain rice
There are many things to take care of if you want to pick the good long grain rice as well as other types of rice. Below are just some, but so important things that you must pay attention to!
Buy long grain rice from a factory supplier
If you can find a reliable factory, that will bring a lot of benefits for you. Firstly, of course, you can buy at a lower and very competitive price instead of losing some profit percentage for the intermediaries like wholesalers. Though exporting a commodity like rice usually bring a low benefit margin, some or even just one dollar per ton of rice can be a big thing for such large quantities. Besides, cooperating with a factory helps you much more flexible in many cases, such as increasing the quantity of long grain rice or changing the packages and quality of rice…
Know well about the types and price of long grain rice you want to buy
Yes, it’s old advice but it’s still true. You should know well about the characteristics of the types of rice you want to purchase, as well as the tips, and methods for distinguishing the real and the fake long grain rice. In fact, white-washed, polished, synthetic, or even “plastic rice” are not rare in the market today, so learning more about the features of long grain rice can help you avoid many unpleasant circumstances (Take notice carefully of some important factors of rice like its shape, length, broken,…)
For getting a good price, you also can search on the Internet, and “spy” on the prices from a list of suppliers. Joining the Facebook groups, asking other importers, hiring a broker… You can try many ways, provided make sure that you know the range price of long grain rice for the type you are looking for.
Know the frauds and the way to avoid them
My friend, an importer with long experience in importing rice used to say that in this industry, traders are few, but frauds are many. You can be scammed in every step of the import-export process, from finding a trusted supplier, traps that are already set in the content of the contract, to frauds in payment, quality of long grain rice… You can be cheated by your exporter, your brokers, a third party (like in an email scam), or even it’s your people. Prevention is better than cure, so try to find out and ask for advice from experienced people or industry experts, know the frauds, know how to avoid them as well as always be awake!
Above are just some suggestions that you should consider when importing long grain rice. To know more, you can contact us K-Agriculture – a pioneer in supplying wholesale Vietnamese rice, for a free consult as well as the best advice about types, price, and the more detailed procedures to import long grain rice from Vietnam.
With about 25 years in producing rice and exporting to nealy 40 countries around the world, we’re sure to help you find the best suitable long-grain rice from our plenty of varieties at a very competitive price.
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