Also known as converted rice, parboiled rice is treated at the harvesting stage while still in the hulls. It is soaked and steamed, before being dried. After rice is harvested, its inedible hull is removed to produce brown rice. If rice is put through a second step of processing to remove the bran, it becomes white rice. Unlike brown and white rice, the process for parboiled rice begins before the hull is removed. The complete grain of rice is soaked, steamed and dried with the hull being removed to make parboiled rice. The steaming enables the rice to absorb nutrients and changes the starch so that it cooks into a firmer, less sticky dish of rice than regular white rice. The steaming does not precook the rice, so it still takes about 20 minutes to prepare.

This process alters the nature of the starch, resulting in transparent grains that will be less sticky and more separate when cooked. It also allows some nutrients to transfer from the hull into the grain, giving a more nutritious product than untreated rice. Parboiled rice is also rich in Minerals, Vitamin B and Carbohydrates.