There are many varieties of rice in the world with different shapes and sizes ranging from the long and slender to the short and tubby.
In the world market as well as in Malaysia, much emphasis is placed on grain length and whiteness as a criterion of grade and quality. Other factors such as palatability characteristics (appearance, cohesiveness, tenderness and flavor) also constitute as important considerations in quality grading.
In Malaysia, the main varieties of rice found in retail outlets are ordinary local and imported white rice, brown unpolished rice and specialty rice such as fragrant rice, Basmati, parboiled and glutinous rice. The main criteria in the classification are length of grain, content of head rice, content of broken rice and milling degree.