Rice (Oryza sativa) of the Bahía, Tebre, Gleva, Fonsa, Bomba and Montsianell varieties. PDO protection covers white rice classified as "Extra".
This is aromatic, short-grain rice with high absorbency. It requires slow cooking and can absorb all sorts of flavors. The main varieties are round-grain Bahía, which is very porous and regular in cooking, and Bomba, which is characterized by its stability after cooking, when the grains remain loose.
The main and most widely-grown variety is Bahía. The others are grown in minimal quantities.
Characteristics of the raw grain:
- Grain length: 5.53 mm
- Grain width: 2.99 mm
- Grain thickness: 2.14 mm
- Amylose (% s.e.s.): 19.41 %
- Total yield(%): 69.90 %
- % broken grains: 11.63 %
Grain cooking characteristics:
- Cooking time: 16 min.
- Water absorption* : 1.93
- Increase in grain length: 8.45 %
(*) g. water/g. rice.
Sensory attributes of the cooked grain (on the Batcher scale, and after tasting with organoleptic assessment)*:
- Adherence amongst grains: 7.83
- Acceptability: 5.75
- Visual appearance: 5.50
(*) Scale: 9 very good, 7 good, 5 normal, 3 poor.
Production / Processing method
Cultivation involves the following stages:
- Sowing: late April to early May.
- Emergence: depending on the weather, about 20 days after sowing.
- Establishment: late June to mid-July.
- Tillering: late July to early August.
- Panicle formation and flowering: during the month of August.
- Ripening: mid-September to mid-October.
Sowing: Once the water has reached all the fields, the rice is cast by hand and left with a covering of water about 7-8 cm / 2.7–3.1 inches deep. Once the plants sprout, any weeds are removed by hand and plants are placed in any clear areas. In July the crop is fertilized. The water level must be maintained throughout the vegetative cycle. It is then drained off 8-10 days before harvesting, once the grains are ripe.
Harvesting: After draining the water of the fields, the plants are allowed to dry.Then are collected by a mechanical harvester and taken to the mills for drying and processing, as follows:
- Drying: Removal of any surplus water from the grains, reducing moisture content to 15%.
- Storage: When dry, the grain is stored in silos or stores until milling.
- Milling: Removal of the chaff and bran, leaving the grains white and ready for sale.
- Cleaning: Removal of any foreign bodies by blowing and vibration.
- Packaging: The rice is transferred to authorized packs using automatic dosing machines.
- Extrinsic quality control: This aims to guarantee that the grains are free of foreign bodies, defects, etc. and that the packs have the regulatory weight and tolerances
- Labeling: The labels are affixed when the packs are closed.
Geography / Relief and climate
The production area, part of the Ebro delta, is almost flat. Almost all the soil is mostly clay and silty-clay, with fertile silt deposited by the river on a sandy floor.
The climate is mild Mediterranean, with practically no frost and high levels of sunshine. The average annual temperature is 17ºC / 62.6ºF and moisture is relatively high.
The most important river in the area is the Ebro, and its water is of good quality for rice cultivation for both its physical and chemical composition and also the lack of contaminants.
Consejo Regulador de la DOP Arroz del Delta del Ebro
C/ Sant Cristófol, 118
43870 Amposta (Tarragona)
Tel: (+34) 977 701 020
- Spanish Ministry of Agriculture
The main and most widely-grown variety is Bahía.