Cooking rice

How to Get Rid of Arsenic in Rice

Elsie Goycoolea
By Elsie Goycoolea. Updated: January 20, 2017
How to Get Rid of Arsenic in Rice

It is very easy to cook rice in order to make a simple and quick meal. Rice can be used to make risotto, sushi and even rice pudding. While rice is recommended in a healthy eating plate as great source of energy, there are concerns over the levels of arsenic in rice. Arsenic is a known carcinogen that can contaminate rice crops through the soil and water. If you want to cook rice safely there are ways you can reduce the level of arsenic in rice.

In this OneHowTo article we share how to get rid of arsenic in rice.

You may also be interested in: How to Counteract Too Much Salt In Rice

Steps to follow:


Before you prepare to cook your rice you must know that certain rice varieties have lower levels of arsenic. White rice tends to contain safer levels of arsenic compared to brown rice. Most arsenic is concentrated in the outer layers of the grain, which is removed during the refining process.

Additionally, the type of soil used and the region where it was grown can influence arsenic levels. Arsenic can accumulate in the soil and remain intact for years. For this reason, research the rice brand name before purchase for a report on arsenic levels.


Once you have bought the rice, the first step is to rinse it thoroughly. Think of how you wash your vegetables and fruits and make sure that you do the same with the rice.

How to Get Rid of Arsenic in Rice - Step 2

The best way to remove arsenic is by boiling as opposed to frying the rice. The water will help to extract the arsenic from the rice. It is recommended that you use at least six times more water than rice. Add salt as needed.

If you use the boiling method, make sure to discard the boiling water and then rinse again the rice under hot water. Finally, pat it dry with a cloth. This whole process can help reduce more than 50 percent of the arsenic content.

How to Get Rid of Arsenic in Rice - Step 3

More recently, people have experimented cooking rice in a coffee machine. The key aspect of this method is allowing hot water to continually pass through the rice as opposed to remaining in the pot the whole time. The rice will be placed in a coffee filter where the coffee beans are usually added and is argued to eliminate up to 85 percent of the arsenic.


If you want to make a fried rice dish, then we suggest you rinse and soak the rice for at least 30 minutes and then discard this water. It will help to slightly reduce the levels of arsenic before you proceed to make the fried rice dish.


How to Get Rid of Arsenic in Rice - Step 5

There are some pre-packaged products such as rice cakes or rice cereals that are made with rice. Also, one can buy many ready-to-eat meals containing rice. These products unless properly prepared will contain some levels of arsenic.

How to Get Rid of Arsenic in Rice - Step 6

In order to further reduce the levels of arsenic in your diet, we recommend that you incorporate other grains such as quinoa, buckwheat or bulgur into your diet. You may replace some of your favorite meals with these other grains at times when you aren't sure if your food is safe to eat.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Get Rid of Arsenic in Rice, we recommend you visit our Food & drink category.

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How to Get Rid of Arsenic in Rice