Difference Between Red Rice & Brown Rice

Updated April 17, 2017

Rice is a good source of energy and fiber, and it's eaten in nearly every country of the world. There are more than 7,000 varieties of cultivated rice.


After rice is harvested, it is cleaned and the outer covering, called a hull or chaff, is removed. The remaining rice is brown, red or sometimes black, depending upon the seeds it originated from. If the layers of bran are then removed, white rice remains.

Brown Rice

Brown rice is chewy and more nutritious than white rice, due to the layers of bran that remain.

Red Rice

Like brown rice, red rice also maintains the bran, resulting in a chewy, nutritious rice. Red rice is mainly grown in Europe, India and Southeast Asia.

Type of Grain

Both brown and red rice can be long-, medium- or short-grain. The long- grain variety is drier and fluffs when cooked. Short-grain rice has higher starch content and is sticky when cooked.


Brown and red rice are whole-grain rice. They each require approximately 60 minutes of boiling time to soften.


Brown and red rice come from different types of seeds, but are equivalent in nutrition and cooking time. The main difference is the taste, which is a matter of personal preference.

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About the Author

Janice Messali is an educator and writer in San Diego. She has taught elementary and secondary school, special education, educational technology and parenting classes for 15 years. Messali is also a breast cancer survivor and an expert in culinary arts, gardening, and travel planning. She enjoys writing and frequently contributes to eHow, Answerbag and Trails.