Rice Standards and Inspection Services
The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration develops the U.S. Standards for Rice and offers inspection services for rice and processed products under the authority of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (AMA).
U.S. Standards for Rice
The U.S. Standards for Rice (PDF; 164Kb) define U.S. rice quality in the marketplace. The standards are comprised of three separate standards for the three main types of rice: United States Standards for Rough Rice (PDF; 141Kb), United States Standards for Brown Rice (PDF; 44Kb) for Processing, and United States Standards for Milled Rice (PDF; 74Kb). Each of the three rice standards, in turn, contains four main classes: long grain, medium grain, short grain, and mixed rice. These classes are based on the length-to-width ratio of the kernels.
The standards assign numerical grades that communicate quality requirements. In addition to providing a classification system, the standards provide an assessment of soundness and quality factors, such as moisture content, infestation, and damage, including heat-damaged kernels, red rice and damaged kernels, and chalky kernels.
Rice Inspection Services
GIPSA offers inspection services for rice upon request on a fee basis for both domestic and export shipments. Inspections are carried out either by GIPSA employees or authorized service providers.
Rice inspection services are divided into two basic types: "inspection for grade" or "factor analysis" without grade. Inspection for grade involves analyzing the sample according to the quality factors listed in the Official U.S. Standards for Rice and certifying the applicable numeric grade designation, the quality factors responsible for the grade assignment, and any other quality factors the customer requests. Factor analysis involves the analysis of quality factors requested by the applicant for service without the certification of an applicable numeric grade designation. Factors requested by applicants might include free fatty acid, total oil and free fatty acid, stain as a count, broken in brown rice, false smut, and aflatoxin.
Official inspections result in the issuance of an official certificate, which reports the grade of the rice. Certificates are issued for each lot or submitted sample inspection of rice for kind, class, grade, factor analysis, and various quality designations as defined in the standards, or for any other approved services performed. Further information about certification and examples of the various types of certificates is included in the Rice Inspection Handbook, Chapter 6, Certification.
U.S. and international buyers rely on official USDA inspection certificates to provide accurate, official descriptions of the grade, class, and condition of the inspected rice. Official certificates are receivable by all offices and all courts of the United States as prima facie evidence of the truth of the statements stated thereon.
Official Service Providers
For information on rice inspection services, or to request service, contact your nearest GIPSA office: