The shelf life of uncooked brown rice is between 6 to 8 months, which is significantly shorter than the shelf life of white rice that can range between 4 to 5 years, and up to 30 days with oxygen-free white rice. When cooked, both brown and white rice varieties can keep for 4 to 7 days if kept in the refrigerator and can last for 6 to 8 months when stored in the freezer.
Unlike white rice varieties, the bran and germ in the rice are left untouched during the milling process, thus giving the rice a brown shade. This means that brown rice is not a specific type of rice, but just typical rice that was processed differently. The United States Rice Federation classifies brown rice into three categories: long-grain, medium-grain and short-grain brown rice.
Brown rice is generally considered to be the healthier alternative to white rice because it has lower calories and contains more fiber per serving. This rice variety may also help in weight management as well as the management of certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
The downside to the brown rice variety is its comparatively shorter shelf life compared to white rice varieties. This is primarily because of the higher oil amount in brown rice, which is contained in its bran layer. Among the storage options for brown rice, which can extend its shelf life, include hermetic storage refrigeration and freezing.