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© Regulatory Council Arroz del Delta del Ebro PDO

© Regulatory Council Arroz del Delta del Ebro PDO

Production area

The production area is in the Ebro Delta, covering the areas of Baix Ebre and Montsià in the province of Tarragona (Catalonia), and includes the municipal districts of Amposta, Camarles, Deltebre, l 'Aldea, la Ampolla, Sant Carles de la Ràpita and San Jaume de Enveja. Processing and packaging are also carried out within the same area.

Spanish Rice

Arroz del Delta del Ebro PDO

Rice (Oryza sativa) of the Bahía, Tebre, Sénia, Fonsa, Bomba and Montsianell varieties. PDO protection covers white rice classified as "Extra".

Tasting notes

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.

Other notes

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 %

Milling characteristics):
- 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.




Spanish Ministry of Agriculture


Regulatory Council, Arroz del Delta del Ebro PDO 

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.

Regulatory Council

Consejo Regulador de la D.O.P. Arroz del Delta del Ebro
C/ Sant Cristófol, 118
43870 Amposta (Tarragona)
Tel: (+34) 977 701 020
Fax: (+34) 977 701 090

Total production
Year  2008   2007  2006   2005   2004   2003   2002 
 Volume (tons)   26,314   31,260   37,792   36,898   37,870   38,954   42,290 
Export share / total production (average for the last three years)


Note: There is a clear upward trend in exports: in 2008 exports quadrupled those of 2007.

No. of companies in the PDO / PGI / TSG / Sector (approx.)


Spanish exporters
To find export companies of this product, see PDO website for more details: PDO Arroz del Delta del Ebro
Raw materials / Origin

Rice of the species Oryza sativa.L and varieties Bahía, Tebre, Sénia, Fonsa, Bomba and Montsianell.

Marketing season

Harvesting takes place from mid-September to mid-October, but the product is available on the market all year round.

Plant / Animal Origin


Fresh / Processed (Canned) / Frozen


Cultivated Surface

11,566 ha / 28,580 acres

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