World rice production exceeds 600 million tonnes annually (Table 1), and over 85% of the crop is used for human nutrition. Rice is a dietary staple for over half the world's population, and over 90% of the crop is produced and consumed in Asia and China. The per capita supply of paddy rice exceeds 600 g day"1 in six countries (Myanmar, 847 g day"1;

Laos, 707 g day"1; Viet Nam 686 g day"1; Cambodia, 668 g day"1; Bangladesh, 643 g day"1; and Indonesia, 611 g day"1), and exceeds 400 g day"1 in Thailand (448 g day"1), Guinea-Bissau (422 g day"1), the Philippines (418 g day"1), Cote d'lvoire (412 g day"1), Nepal (409 g day"1), and Madagascar (402 g day"1). Rice makes a modest contribution to the diets in most industrialized countries, except Japan where rice is the major dietary cereal with a per capita supply of 244gday"1. Rice (Oryza sativa) can be grown in a wide range of environments, under water or on dry land. The subspecies indica is grown in the tropics, and the subspecies japonica is grown mainly in warm temperate regions. Harvested rice, known as paddy (or rough) rice, has a hull. Removal of the hull yields brown rice, which can be rendered edible by prolonged boiling. However, the type of rice preferred in most regions is white polished rice, in which the outer bran layers are removed by milling. The yield of edible milled rice from paddy rice is about 66%. Types of rice vary in grain morphology and in cooking characteristics. When boiled, short-grain indica types generally become soft and sticky and aggregate, whereas long-grain japonica types remain relatively firm and separated. A small proportion of rice is processed to flour. However, the absence of gluten precludes its general use in leavened products.

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