How to preserve rice for 5 years

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how to preserve rice for 5 years” and discuss the different methods of preserving rice.

How to preserve rice for 5 years

White rice can be preserved for over 30 years by storing it in a sealable container or a mylar bag with an oxygen absorber. Brown rice can only be preserved for 2 – 5 years using the same method. 

Brown rice has a high content of moisture and oil and no method can preserve it for longer than 5 years. It is recommended to use brown rice within 2 – 5 years of storage since the shelf-life cannot be exactly predicted. White rice on the other hand is very shelf-stable and can be preserved for over 30 years.

How to store rice in a mylar bag

If raw rice needs to be stored for 5 years or longer, it must be stored in a container that prevents the formation of moisture while protecting rice from pests and the environment. The best storage method is to use a mylar bag.

A mylar bag is a bag made from laminated food grade aluminum or plastic. A food-grade plastic lining prevents the food from coming into contact with aluminum. Dry food with low moisture and oil content preserve well in mylar bags. 

Oxygen absorbers can be added to the bags to further extend the shelf-life of rice. If oxygen absorbers are not available, the mylar bags must be vacuum-sealed.

After opening the mylar bag, the rice must be used within 2 years.

Mylar bags can be purchased online.

There are both advantages and disadvantages of using mylar bags for storing rice.

Advantages include:

  • Mylar bags provide effective protection against moisture, dust, light and insects.
  • Mylar bags act as an oxygen barrier and adding an oxygen absorber removes the oxygen available and extends the shelf-life.
  • Mylar bags are available in a variety of sizes,
  • Mylar bags can be washed and reused.

Disadvantages include:

  • Mylar bags do not offer protection from rodents.
  • Mylar bags do not stack well and may take up a lot of storage space.
  • Only food with a moisture content of less than 10% can be stored in mylar bags. So red or brown rice cannot be preserved for a long time in mylar bags.

Rice varieties and dishes

Rice is a common crop in Asia with over 6000 varieties. The most common varieties of rice include red rice, brown rice and Basmati.

Rice grains are generally brown. When the husk is removed by milling, they are known as white rice.

Rice is a nutrient-filled grain that can be prepared in a multitude of ways. Many Asian cuisines include rice in their daily diet and some cuisines use rice as their staple food. Some world-famous rice dishes include Sushi from Japan, Risotto from Italy, Nasi Goreng from Indonesia, Paella from Spain and Biryani from India.

How to inspect and store raw rice 

Raw rice is very shelf-stable and is one of the best goods for long term storage. Raw rice is preserved for the longest time by :

  • Inspecting rice before storage: Raw rice must always be inspected to make sure it is free from insects. Storing rice infested with insects will only shorten the shelf-life.
  • Storing away from dust, contaminants and insects: Raw rice is very prone to infestation by termites and bugs. Raw rice must be kept in a closed, pest-free container in a cool, dark place. 
  • Storing at the optimum conditions: The best temperature for storing raw rice is 40°F or below. If an oxygen absorber is used, rice can be stored at around  70°F for up to 10 years.
  • Storing in oxygen-free containers: Rice has the longest shelf-life when stored in oxygen-free containers. Rice can be preserved for up to 30 years when stored in an oxygen-free container at a cool temperature.
  • Not storing in air-tight containers: Raw rice sweats at high temperatures and builds up moisture. If stored in an airtight container, the heat and moisture will cause the growth of mold resulting in spoilage. So raw rice must be stored in a food-grade container with a lid or mylar bags as suggested earlier.

Shelf-life of raw rice

Rice is one of the best foods for long term storage.

  • Raw white rice can be stored for 25-30 years under the proper storage conditions. 
  • Raw brown rice has a shelf-life of about 6 months. Under strict storage conditions, brown rice may be stored for 2-5 years. Since the husk of brown rice retains moisture and attracts microbes, it spoils faster.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “how to preserve rice for 5 years” and discussed the different methods used to preserve rice.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.