Rice is the most widely consumed staple food for most households, as it complements almost all other food items. It is a grain and is the seed of certain grass species. It is also a part of a large population’s diet and is considered a carbohydrate. Not only that, it is a great source of a lot of essential vitamins and minerals.
If you have a sack of rice at home, you might be wondering: Does uncooked rice go bad? Here in this post, we will be talking about uncooked rice’s shelf life, proper storage and how to tell if the rice has gone rancid. I hope you will learn valuable information and will make you decide to use up your uncooked rice to prevent food wastage.
Does Uncooked Rice Go Bad?
Rice comes in a wide range of types and it is often mixed with spices. Because of its low cost, calorie content, long shelf life and a number of nutritional benefits, it is no wonder that it is part of every household and is enjoyed by billions of people every day. However, you should be aware that not all rice is equal and some have a shorter life than others.
Does uncooked rice go bad? Unfortunately, it does. Improper food storage will make rice last for a shorter period of time. However, brown and white rice usually have a best by or use before date. Because of this, you may still use it for consumption and you will not have to worry about your safety.
White rice lasts for 4 to 5 years when stored in your pantry, oxygen-free white rice will last up to 25 to 30 years, and brown rice will last for 6 to 8 months. Brown rice can last up to a year after its use by date if stored in the refrigerator. Lastly, oxygen-free white rice will last up to 30 years after its use by date if stored in the freezer.
There are different types of rice and they also differ in the amount of oil and moisture. With this, it can also be concluded that they have varying shelf lives. Most of them, however, can be kept up to a year if it is properly stored. Proper food storage is mandatory in order to get the most of your rice for a longer period of time.
Most types of rice have indefinite shelf life but the main challenge is to keep it free from dust, insects and other harmful contaminants. With proper storage, you can keep your sack of uncooked rice for years. Of course, if you see any signs that your rice has spoiled, you have to throw it away to prevent foodborne illnesses.
With today’s technology, there are a lot of ways on how to cook rice. Here’s a video showing you how to cook the perfect rice without using rice cooker:
How Do You Properly Store Uncooked Rice?
There are four very important rules in storing uncooked rice. First, moisture plays a big role in the growth of harmful bacteria, which result to spoilage of food where they inhabit. Rice has around 10% moisture content and this will mean that rice can be kept for a long period of time. However, excess moisture will greatly affect its shelf life.
Temperature also plays an important role, as warmer temperatures will ultimately cause the rice to spoil a lot faster. If you didn’t know, bacteria thrive in warmer environments and they will be able to multiply quicker even if the moisture content is low. Experts claim that a drop in temperature will likely to double rice’s shelf life.
Containers also play a very crucial part in uncooked rice storage. A good container does not have cracks or holes where air can enter. In addition, a good container will keep oxygen from entering the container of uncooked rice. Lastly, oxygen reduction will guarantee a longer shelf life of your uncooked rice.
The best way to store uncooked rice is to place it in an airtight container in your pantry or a cool and dry place with constant temperature. Another option is to transfer the sack’s content into a releasable heavy-duty freezer bag if you have the sack already opened. Lastly, place it where water cannot reach it.
How Do You Tell If The Uncooked Rice Has Gone Bad?
Since rice has an indefinite shelf life if stored properly, it would be a little difficult to tell if it has gone bad. However, there are still ways on how to check if the uncooked rice has gone rancid. These are also easy and will not require you a lot of effort. Practicing proper storage and food safety techniques will help in preventing foodborne illnesses.
The first thing you should look for is the presence of rice weevil, which is s type of a bug that is commonly found in uncooked rice. If you see this bug moving in your uncooked rice, you have to throw the entire container of uncooked rice. For brown rice, if it appears oily and it gives off an unpleasant odor, you have to discard it.
Does uncooked rice go bad? As discussed above, yes it does. It should be noted, however, that there are different types of rice and their shelf lives also differ. To summarize, here are some of the important points discussed above:
- White rice will last for 4 to 5 years, oxygen-free white rice will last for 25 to 30 years, and brown rice has a shorter shelf life of 6 to 8 months after its best used by date.
- Proper storage includes keeping the airtight container away from moisture, high temperature, and oxygen.
- If you see rice weevil moving in your uncooked white rice, throw the whole container away. If you notice that brown rice is oily and it smells unpleasant, you have to discard it.