A soft, short grained and slightly rounded rice with nutty flavor and aroma.

Cultivated in China for more than 4 thousand years, it has a reputation as an aphrodisiac and was called “Forbidden Rice” as it was only eaten by the Emperor, his subjects only being fit to cultivate the grain.

Research in Brazil began in 1994, the grain was developed by researchers at the Campinas Agronomic Institute (Instituto Agronômico de Campinas- IAC), an agency of the São Paulo State Secretariat of Agriculture, to adapt to the soil and climate in São Paulo. It was baptized as IAC-600.

Black rice has 20% more protein, 30% more fiber, less fat and less calories than whole grain rice.

It is richer in phenolic anti-oxidants beneficial to humans in that they slow the aging process.

Because it is an exotic food, it is greatly appreciated by chefs from around the world.


Concerned with rice production in São Paulo, in 1992 the Agronomic Institute initiated a genetic improvement program to develop varieties of rice from special types of grains to supply the demand of international niche culinary markets. Among these varieties are those with colored pellicles, specifically a black pellicle, this type is well-known in Europe and the United States, originally from China where it has been produced for more than 4,000 years.

Beginning in the 80’s China intensified black rice improvement and today there are more than 50 modern varieties cultivated throughout the country. As a result of the research begun in 1994, the Agronomic Institute is proud to provide the rice producers in São Paulo with IAC 600, the first strain of black rice distributed in Brazil to supply the rice production sector.

This strain, IAC 600, is Oryza sativa, it should not be confused with “wild rice” which is a different plant (Zizania sp.).


The IAC 600 originated from a mass selection carried out in 1994 in a population of the Chinese variety Wang Xue Ren which reflected various desirable culinary and agricultural characteristics.

From this selection process approximately 150 lineages of different grain types, panicles and plant sizes were isolated. In the 1996/97 growing season, the IAC 1762 strain displayed agricultural stability and production potential adequate for special grain standards, adapting well to flooded planting conditions and upland conditions with supplemental irrigation.

Culinary quality tests in the United States revealed a nutty aroma and high levels of phenolic compounds giving this lineage specific characteristics. In 2001, seed improvement tests and advanced experiments were carried out in the rice producing regions of São Paulo state to appraise the Value for Cultivation and Use (VCU).


The pellicle that surrounds the whole grain of black rice is rich in:

Carbohydrates, oils, protein, phenolic compounds, fiber, cobalt, vitamins: A, B1, B2, B6, B12, niacin, nicotinic acid, pantothenic acid, pro-vitamins C e E.

Click here to see the Food Technology Institute (Instituto de Tecnologia de Alimentos – ITAL) report.



Avoids the build-up of toxic residues that can cause excessive fermentation (flatulence) or constipation.

Avoids metabolic and organ disorders which can lead to obesity, cellular degeneration or serious disease.

Promotes improved cell function, blood flow and oxygenation of brain tissue, harmonizing internal organ functions.

Helps build blood together with iron.

Participates in the maintenance and integrity of blood vessels and flow.

Prevents early aging, high blood pressure, diabetes, skin diseases as well as benefiting the functions of the heart and kidneys.


Black whole grain rice, in the form of mush, plays an important role in early infant feeding, for convalescents or for the disabled.


pericarp color black
average grain lenght 5,5 mm
average grain width 2,75 mm
average grain thickness 1,87 mm
length/width ratio 2,01
average weight of 100 grains 2,55%
class medium
average yield of whole grains 68%
average amilose content 19,3%
gelatinization temperature low


This type of rice is meant to be consumed whole, it has a nutty flavor and aroma, grains are very soft after cooking, with excellent nutritional qualities when compared with other traditional types of rice.

Nutritional composition of IAC 600 compared to traditional whole grain rice and white rice.

Contents IAC 600 whole grain white rice
humidity (%) 8,8 9,77 9,81
ash (%) 1,28 1,46 0,25
fat (%) 1,67 2,63 0,38
protein (%) 9,71 7,04 6,02
fiber (%) 2,02 1,42 0,32
carbohydrates (%) 80,12 77,68 79,53
calories (Kcal) 359,59 362,55 360,38
aroma level (ng/g of 2-AP) 980
phenolic compounds (m M trolox/g) 825 79


The IAC 600 lineage is highly resistant to rice blast fungus which causes blast disease in the State of São Paulo, as much on leaves as on panicles as shown in molecular marker tests carried out by the USDA/Texas. In relation to kernel smut and sheath blight, IAC 600 is considerably resistant.


Improvement: Cândido Ricardo Bastos and Luiz Ernesto Azzini – CAPTA de Grãos e Fibras (IAC); Omar Vieira Villela – PRDTA do Vale do Paraíba (DDD) and Anna M. McClung – USDA/ARS-Beaumont, Texas.

Economic botany: Paulo Boller Gallo – PRDTA do Nordeste Paulista (DDD); Lúcia Helena Signori Melo de Castro and Vanda Maria Angeli Malavolta – CAPTA de Grãos e Fibras (IAC).

Technical support: Maria Eunice Braga Ferreira; Takio Oda, José Rogério de Oliveira and Sérgio José Coradelo.


Phone: + 55 (12)3648-8327

E-mail: contato@arrozpreto.com.br