What is Red Yeast Rice?

what is red yeast rice

Alright, so we’ve covered why you want to get a decent dose of red yeast rice.  We’ve talked about the stuff that you need to think about and potentially be aware of.  What we haven’t really talked about is what is Red Yeast Rice?  You probably think it’s just what it is called; Red yeast rice.  The truth is, there is a lot more to it than that.  You need to understand how it’s grown and where it comes from to get the full appreciation.  We’ve realized that understand the ingredients that we use in our products helps people leverage the supplements to even further improve performance and lifestyles.  Let’s take a minute to look at what red yeast rice actually is…

Moldy Rice

No, really.  Red yeast rice gets its name, and its color, because of the way it’s harvested.  It’s mixed with a particular type of mold called Monascus purpureus, or maize mold.  As maize mold feeds off from corn or rice, it changes from white in pigment to a dark reddish-purple color [1].  Fermented foods in ancient China and Japan often leverage maize mold to create dyes for garments and linens.

Today, maize mold is cultivated and blended with hardy forms of rice.  The moldy rice is soaked in water until bloated and completely saturated.  After a week of neglect, it starts the fermentation process.  Any longer than a week and the rice becomes to rotted to ever be used for anything other than livestock grub.  After fermentation, the rice is collected, dried, and cooked so that’s it is ready to be processed into powder, paste, or mash [1]!  (If the process sounds gross to you, we don’t suggest you look in to how most of the foods you eat are created.)

The Different Forms of Red Yeast Rice

Powder – Commonly used when creating health supplements.  Powdered red yeast rice is literally just ground up red yeast rice grains, processed into super fine dust-like powder.  The powder can be capsulized or can be mixed directly into a supplement drink.  Occasionally, red yeast rice powder can be used while cooking, but one of the other forms is more commonly preferred.

Paste – Often used as an ingredient in skin creams, burn treatments, or rash ointments.  Properties of red yeast rice are leveraged to assist in the healing effects of skin creams that you can purchase over the counter!  Especially appealing for people who like all-natural treatments and remedies.

“Mash” – Used almost exclusively in culinary.  “Mash” is basically a mix between granular pieces and paste.  Mash can be used to assist with texture to a health meal, as well as provide the benefits of red yeast rice after ingestion.  Frequently found in desert and snack foods similar to humus, red yeast rice has been used in Chinese pastries for hundreds of years.  For many of our readers, it’s difficult to create simply and health snack foods.  Consider looking up some healthy snacks involving red yeast rice to satisfy your snacking needs while supplementing simultaneously!


  1. Thu Nguyen,1,* Mitchell Karl,1 and Antonello Santini2
    Red Yeast Rice
    Foods. 2017 Mar; 6(3): 19.
    Published online 2017 Mar 1. doi: 10.3390/foods6030019
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