Rice is a cereal crop like wheat, rye, oats, barley and many others. Wholemeal rice is very much better for you than white rice. The protein in rice complements the protein in pulses and eating rice up to two or three times a week is healthy.
Rice refers to two species by their Latin names Oryza sativa and Oryza glaberrima of grass, which is native to tropical and subtropical southeastern Asia and to Africa, this two plants together provide more than one fifth of the calories consumed by humans. Rice is an annual plant, which grows to 1.8 meter tall, occasionally more, with long slender leaves by 50-100 cm long and 2 cm broad. The small wind-pollinated flowers are produced in a branched arching to pendulous inflorescence 30-50 cm long. The seed is a grain of 5-12 mm long and 2-3 mm thick. The word rice derives from the Tamil word arisi. Rice cultivation is well suited to countries and regions with low labor costs and high rainfall, as it is very labor-intensive to cultivate and requires plenty of water for irrigation. Rice is often grown in paddies. Once the rice has established dominance of the field, the water can be drained in preparation for harvest. Paddies increase productivity, although rice can also be grown on dry land with the help of chemical weed controls. The seeds of the rice plant are first milled to remove the outer husks of the grain; this creates brown rice. This process may be continued, removing the germ and the rest of the husk, called bran at this point, creating white rice. The white rice may then be buffed with glucose or talc powder which is often called polished rice, parboiled, or processed into flour. The white rice may also be enriched to add nutrients, especially those lost during the milling process. Rice is cooked by boiling or steaming. It can be cooked in just enough water to cook it through, or it can be cooked in a large quantity of water which is drained before serving. Rice porridge is very easy to digest, so it is especially suitable for the sick.
Production of Rice[edit | edit source]
Rice is one of the most cultivated cereals and it represents the basis of any diet. Second to wheat rice is the most consumed cereal and it is grown all around the world. The annual production of rice is of approximately five hundred millions metric tones and wheat’s annual production is of six hundred millions metric tones. The production of rice was not always this high; it has grown over the last forty years. China and India are the countries with the highest production of rice. China has the biggest production of rice and it produces about thirty-eight percent of the annual world rice production. Although China is the biggest producer of rice, the most important exporter of rice is Thailand which exports a quantity of 5.8 millions metric tones. There are as well numerous other countries which are famous for their production of rice such as Italy, United States of America and many other countries. In Italy the production of rice is concentrated in the northern areas where the land is fertile enough for producing rice. Although in the past rice cultivation and production was done entirely by humans now the technology has replaced human efforts. In Italy and USA the rice production is done with special machines and artisan methods which maintain rice qualities. In China and in numerous oriental countries the machines have not yet replace human activity in cultivating and producing rice. The production of rice is done in the traditional way; the rice is planted and produced only by human effort. The process of producing rice is not very difficult although it requires little knowledge. In producing rice is very important to know which the best type of soil is and what quantity of water is needed. Rice can be sold both unaltered, ready to be cooked or in numerous forms like rice milk, canned rice or rice crackers.
Buying Rice[edit | edit source]
Rice is the one of the most important cereal found all around the world. Numerous countries cultivate rice as well as export it. Rice can be found in all supermarkets and shops all over the world. One can find rice in various forms, but rice is commonly found in markets unaltered. There are numerous types of rice found on the market such as Italian rice, Chinese rise, Indonesian rice and many others. There are some differences between these types of rice but they are all very healthy and appreciated all around the world. Oriental rice is long grained and powerfully perfumed. Rice types also differ in its nutritional value and natural properties. It is know that brown rice is lower in calories than white rice and it is healthier. Rice is usually found in supermarkets packed and it can be found in bags or in pots. Before buying rice it is very important to look for its expiration date and nutritional values. One can find on the bags or on the pots the details of the company which has produced and market the product as well as the product qualities. Not only the unaltered rice can be found in markets, but also rice milk, rice crackers and other products made of rice. Canned rice is better kept and it maintains rice’s qualities as well as raw rice. Canned rice is protected by the environment where the product is kept and it is better preserved. Other products of rice such as rice milk or rice crackers have a shorter expiration date because it has already been prepared but they are as well healthy and delicious. When buying rice you will find on markets numerous types of rice such as long-grained, short grained or starchy rice and it is very important to know that each of the rice type has its own preparation method and uses.
Rice Variations[edit | edit source]
There are various types of rice such as brown rice, Italian rice, Chinese rice and other and each of them has its own preparation method and its own uses and they are also different according to their characteristics. Brown rice has dark colored grains which are smaller then white rice’s grains and they have an oval shape. Brown rice is usually consumed because is low on calories and carbohydrates and because it has a delicious taste. Integral rice is consumed because it is rich in proteins, fiber, salts and minerals. Parboiled rice is steam treated in order to make the grains firmer and it is also known that it cooks very quickly. Chinese rice as well as all oriental rice has long and round grains and it requires a longer time of cooking. There are numerous products of rice such as rice flour, rice milk, rice crackers which represent the basis of numerous culinary stiles. Rice is usually boiled in water before being prepared and in some countries such as China it replaces the bread. Rice can be served only with salt or it can be served with a variety of fruits and vegetables. In China rice is served with every meal and it is the most important element of every meal, that’s why in China the production of rice is very high. Rice is usually cooked by boiling or steaming. It can be cooked in just enough water to cook it through, or it can be cooked in a large quantity of water which is drained before serving. Rice porridge is very easy to digest, so it is especially suitable for the sick. Due to the fact that the production of rice is very large and that the rice is cultivated all around the world there are numerous types of rice whose characteristics depend on numerous factors such as the soil, the temperatures and other climatic factors.
- Basmati rice
- Bhutanese red rice
- Black forbidden rice
- Black japonica rice
- Brown rice
- Converted rice
- Cream of rice
- Glutinous rice
- Himalayan red rice
- Instant rice
- Jasmine rice
- Kalijira rice
- Long-grain rice
- Medium-grain rice
- Patna rice
- Popcorn rice
- Risotto rice
- Short-grain rice
- Spanish rice
- Thai purple sticky rice
- Wehani rice
- White rice
- Wild pecan rice
- Wild rice
Preparing Rice[edit | edit source]
Rice is cooked by boiling or steaming. The cooking period is usually short and it depends on the type of rice chosen. Long-grained rice needs a longer period of cooking than short-grained rice. There are numerous methods of preparing rice such as grinding. By grinding rice one can obtain rice flour which is used for cooking a variety of dishes such as rice crackers and many others. The two most important methods of preparing rice are boiling and steaming. Boiling the rice is very important because the amount of water used for boiling the rice increases the cooking time and the quality of taste. Rice can be boiled in a large quantity of water with a pinch of salt in order to obtain a specific taste and a few drops of oil which prevent the rice from sticking to the pot’s bottom. In order to prepare rice using the steaming method put the strained rice in a pot with water and then boil the rice on low temperatures. The rice has to be left on fire for about twenty minutes until is completely cooked. The steaming method is done with a large quantity of water while the boiling is done with enough water to cook it through. The boiling method, also know as the absorbed method. The amount of water used for preparing rice by absorbed method depends on the type of rice used and its characteristics such as age. Every nation has its culinary style and its own way of cooking dishes and because rice is such a common ingredient for numerous nations there are various methods of preparing and serving rice. In some countries rice is eaten during the summer because it is considered that it cools the dishes, while during winter combined with hot spices it warms up the dishes.
Cooking Rice[edit | edit source]
Cooking rice is one of the easiest culinary procedures. All you need in order to cook rice is a pot of water, a pinch of salt and a few drops of oil. The most common method of cooking rice is the absorbed method. When you cook rice you have to know that because rice comes in different types each type of rice has its own particular method and time of cooking. Brown rice usually takes more time to cook than white rice and older rice absorbs more water than new rice which is more delicate after it has been boiled. It is indicated that before rice is cooked to be washed in order to remove the dust and dirt of it. It is very important to have the right equipment for cooking rice. The perfect “tool” for cooking rice is the sturdy pot with a tight-fitting lid. In order to cook rice you need a tight lid because it keeps the steam in. Rice’s cooking time can very from five minutes to thirty minutes depending on the preparation method used. You will know when the rice is cooked after the grains form and tenderness; cooked grains are distinct and tender but not squashy. Rice can be boiled in combination with other vegetables. If the vegetables require a longer time for cooking than the rice you will have to pit the rice in the pot with the vegetables after the water is boiled. Usually rice is served as an accompaniment for other dishes instead of bread, generally in the oriental culture. In other culinary cultures rice can be served as dessert, as main dish or as appetizer and it all depends on the ingredients used for preparing rice. There are numerous recipes based on rice cooked in various methods. The methods of cooking rice depend from culture to culture; there are Chinese methods of cooking rice which are also the most popular, Italian method or Indian methods.
Rice is the second most important cereal cultivated all around the world and it represents the basis of every meal for more than one half of the earth population. Due to its nutritional value and because it is low on fats and without cholesterol, rice can be used in preparing dishes for persons which have to follow a certain diet. There are numerous recipes based on rice which differ from culture to culture, from country to country. Rice is prepared in various ways but it can be served with various dishes. The Chinese are the biggest consumers of rice and of course various ways of preparing rice and numerous recipes. Some of the most popular Chinese recipes which include rice are eight treasure rice puddings a delicious dessert made with glutinous rice, sweet red bean paste, red dates, peanuts, white raisins, walnuts, candied orange peel, sugar, cornstarch and cold water; fried rice made after Chinese style also includes cooked rice, diced pork, soy sauce, cooking wine, cooked green peas, chopped onions, oil and salt to taste. Americans also have numerous recipes based on rice such as baked red beans and rice, broccoli frittata, chili rice, creamy rice and cheese baked, fried rice, green rice and mandarin rice salad. Rice can be served accompanying the main dish substituting the bread or it can be served as dessert or appetizer. During the summer rice in consumed in some areas in order to cool the dish and during the winter it is served with hot sauces in order to warm up. A very popular Italian recipe which contains rice, risotto with leeks and bacon, is a vegetarian dish prepared in a short period
Storing Rice[edit | edit source]
Rice is a cereal which maintains its characteristics for a long period of time but only if it’s good stored. Although rice preserves well, fresh rice is better that old rice because it doesn’t absorbs so much water than old rice. It is indicated to buy rice which is fresh and don’t buy too much because if you keep it for too long in a moistly location it may loose it qualities. Anyway it is recommended to keep the rice in dry places. Raw rice is more fragile, and mustn’t be exposed to sunlight or preserved in locations with intense heat, because the natural oils in the grain may become rotten. After you have opened a package of rice, put it into a clean glass jar and maintain it in a cool dark place. In order to cook rice in a shorter time first you have to soak it in the water for approximately two hours. In order to prepare cooked whole grain or parboiled rice you have to keep it in the refrigerator for a couple of days after it has been boiled. Cooked rice which has been kept in the refrigerator has to be reheated in a pan along with other ingredients. Cooked rice has to be placed into a large bag which has to be very well sealed. The rice can be stored in the refrigerator not more than six months, while cooked rice shouldn’t be kept in the refrigerator more than one week. In order to prevent rice from spoilage by moisture or insects it has to be kept in securely enclosed containers. White rice can be stored this way for not more than one year. The storage of rice is also done according to the type of rice you have. Brown rice shouldn’t be stored more than six months and it has to be stored in darker and cooler places than white rice.
Rice Nutrition[edit | edit source]
Generally rice is a superior source of insoluble fiber, which can also be found in whole wheat, bran, and nuts. Insoluble fiber has the ability of reducing the risk of bowel disorders and it also fights constipation. Rice is rich in carbohydrates, vitamin B, calcium, potassium and dietary fiber. Rice is also low in fats and it contains some proteins.
Rice is an excellent resource of thiamin, niacin, phosphorus, iron, potassium and folic acid. Rice does not have fats, cholesterol, additives, preservatives and sodium. Rice is an ingredient which doesn’t produce allergies. Rice is also a large resource of complex carbohydrates. The carbohydrates contained by rice represent an important source of the fuel that our body needs. Rice is recommended in for a healthy and balanced diet because it doesn’t contain preservatives or cholesterol. Rice contains resistant starch that is the starch that reaches the bowel undigested. This supports the increasing of positive bacteria, maintaining the bowel healthy. Although all types of rice are recommended, it has been scientifically proved that brown rice is better that white rice because it contains several nutrients like riboflavin, iron and magnesium as well as folate and it contains up to three times more fiber than white rice. Comparing white rice with brown rice it is important to look not at the package but at the qualities. White rice looks better than brown rice that’s why is probably more often consumed than brown rice, but the fact is that the brown rice has more fiber which is one of the most important elements in every diet. Rice protein is one of the highest quality proteins. Rice has all eight of the amino acids which are necessary for strong muscles. Rice is one of the most common cereals and that is due to its numerous qualities and nutritional components.
Rice Nutritional Research[edit | edit source]
There were made numerous studies concerning rice and its nutritional properties. Some of the most important studies were done by the International Rice Research Institute. The iron-dense variety of rice used in the research was developed and grown at International Rice Research Institute and then tested by an international team of researchers. Another research on rice was done by the Japanese scientists who discovered that soaking rice is a modality of increasing the nutritional value of rice. The main conductor of the research, Professor Hiroshi Kayahara stated that soaking rice arouses the early stages of germination, when a small sprout, less than a millimeter tall, grows from the grain. The germinated rice as well include triple the quantity of lysine, an amino acid required for the growth and restore of tissues, and 10 times more gamma-amino butyric acid, which can advantage the kidneys. Contained by the sprouts, the research group also recognized a substance that blocks the battle of prolylendopeptidase. This enzyme controls the activity in the central nervous system. The researchers soaked the brown rice in hot water for almost one day to make it sprout. The sprouted rice is enriched and it is easier to cook it. White rice won’t sprout when soaked. Rice obviously contains thiamine, niacin, and iron. Nevertheless, throughout the milling procedure, the quantities of these nutrients are reduced. To get the nutritional significance of the milled product up to that of entire grain, rice is improved with thiamine, niacin, and iron. The whole enriched rice is furthermore fortified with folic acid. Enrichment levels of these nutrients, which are specified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, offer for a minimum of 2 milligrams thiamine, 13 milligrams iron, 16 milligrams niacin, and 0.7 milligrams folic acid per pound of raw rice.
Impurities[edit | edit source]
Rice typically contains impurities absorbed from the soil where it grows and ideally shouldn't be eaten daily, certainly not more than once daily and children under 4 to 5 years old shouldn't be given rice milk instead of regular milk. People with cultural links to South East Asian, people who need to avoid gluten, vegetarians and vegans frequently eat more rice than the general population and need to take greater care. On the other hand Japan has the longest life expectancy in the world and Japanese old people have been eating rice all their lives. Other factors also contribute to long Japanese lives. If you like to eat rice a great deal it's best to steam it and throw away the cooking water that contains impurities.