Varieties of rice

Published: 18th November 2008
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Rice is one of the most widely consumed food crops of the world. This cereal foodstuff provides nourishment to over half of the world's population. In fact, this staple food provides more than one fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by humans. India is the second largest producer of rice after China, accounting for about 90 million tons of production in the world. Rice is cultivated during both winter and summer, and there are more than 4000 varieties of rice being grown every year.

Rice is defined as a cereal grain belonging to the grass family of 'Poaceae'. Rice belongs to two species of Poaceae crop, namely, 'Oryza Sativa' and 'Oryza.' The rice plant grows at 2-6 feet, with an upright stem and long, pointed and flat leaves. It has stalk bearing flowers from which the the rice grains are produced. The rice plant needs both warmth and moisture for its proper growth. Rice is typically grown as an annual plant, although in some tropical regions, it is also grown as a perennial plant. It is considered to be one of the few crops that is non-glutenous and non-allergic.

In third world nations and developing countries, rice is one of the most commonly grown cash crops. In fact, rice is one of the oldest cereal crops cultivated by humans. The earliest forms of rice were grown in China around 5000 years back. Since it is a major food supplement, it is commercially cultivated as a cash crop in many regions of the world.

Rice is very nutritious and contains loads of nutrients to give energy and vitality to our body. Rice is a rich source of carbohydrates as well as an important source of storing the energy inside the body for its proper growth. Rice is also low on fat, salt and cholesterol, and thus helps in keeping the heart healthy.

As pointed above, India is the second largest producer of rice in the world. The rich soil of India is known for producing some of the finest varieties of rice. Basmati rice is globally renowned for its unique smell and delicate flavour and Indian basmati rice is highly demanded in the worldwide market.

Following are the main varieties of rice produced in India:

Basmati Rice: Often termed as the king of all rice, basmati rice is an ideal choice for an every day meal. Its delicate flavour and distinctive aroma makes this long grain rice as the most wonderful rice among all varieties. The long grain rice is further classified as 'Long Grain Brown Rice' and 'Long Grain White Rice'. India is the largest cultivator and exporter of this rice.

Medium Grain Rice: This type of rice has a creamy color and a slightly chewy texture. The kernels of this kind of rice are shorter and wider as compared to that of long grain rice and also do not always remain fluffy. It can also be further classified as 'Medium Grain Brown Rice' and 'Medium Grain White Rice'.

Short Grain Rice: Belonging to the 'Japonica' (round grained) category of rice, the grains of this type of rice have short and plump kernels. This rice is identified as having a smooth, creamy texture, ideal for making rice pudding and other sweet dishes involving the use of rice.

Other Indian rice varieties include dubraj rice, champaa rice, clearfield rice, hasan serai, raja hansa, molakolukulu, Patna rice, ponni rice, to name a few.

Following is the list of varieties of rice produced in various regions of the world:

* Australian Varieties: Amaroo (semi-dwarf medium grain), Reiziq (semi-dwarf medium grain), Jarrah, Koshihikari, etc.

* Bangladeshi Varieties: Chinigura Rice, Kalijira Rice, Kataribhog Rice, Paijam Rice, Najirshail Rice, etc.

* Chinese Rice Varieties: Prosequisa 4, Prosequisa 5, Prosequisa 10, Juma 57, Juma 58, Juma 66, YocahĂș CFX-18, etc.

* Iranian Varieties: Domsiah, Binam, Hasani, Salari, Ambarboo, etc.

* Italian Varieties : Arborio, Baldo, Carnaroli, Vialone Nano, etc.

* Japanese Varieties: Koshihikari, Hitomebore, Hinohikari, Kinuhikari, Nihonbare, Sasanishiki, etc.

* Pakistani Varieties: Basmati 2000 Rice, Super Kernel Basmati Rice, PK-385 Basmati Rice, PK-198 Basmati Rice, Supra Basmati Rice, etc.

* Philippine Varieties:Baysilanon, Dinorado, Milagrosa pino, Segadis Milagrosa, Kalinayan, Sinandomeng, etc.

* Spanish Varieties:Bahia, Bomba, Calasparra and Senia

* Thai Varieties:Jasmine Rice, White Rice, White Glutinous Rice, Black Glutinous Rice, Red Cargo Rice, Brown Rice,etc.

* United States Varieties: Akitakomachi Rice, California New Variety Rice, Calmochi Rice, Calrose Rice and Wehani Rice.

If you are looking for exporters and suppliers of rice. you can visit tradeindia, which has extensive information on rice and other products.

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