Rice   In het nederlands  

Fried Rice
 
 

Sticky Rice with Mango
 
 

Soysauce    Oystersauce    Beef

 

rice

edible starchy cereal grain and the plant by which it is produced.
Roughly one-half of the world population, including virtually all of
East and Southeast Asia, is wholly dependent upon rice as a staple
food; 95 percent of the world's rice crop is eaten by humans.

The cultivated rice plant, Oryza sativa, is an annual grass of the
Gramineae family. It grows to about 1.2 m (4 feet) in height. The
leaves are long and flattened, and its panicle, or inflorescence, is
made up of spikelets bearing flowers that produce the fruit, or grain.

The origin of rice culture has been traced to India in about 3000 BC.
Rice culture gradually spread westward and was introduced to
southern Europe in medieval times. With the exception of the type called upland rice,
the plant is grown on submerged land in the coastal plains, tidal deltas, and river
basins of tropical, semitropical, and temperate regions. The seeds are sown in
prepared beds, and when the seedlings are 25 to 50 days old, they are transplanted
to a field, or paddy, that has been enclosed by levees and submerged under 5 to 10
cm (2 to 4 inches) of water, remaining submerged during the growing season.

The harvested rice kernel, known as paddy, or rough, rice, is enclosed by the hull, or
husk. Milling usually removes both the hull and bran layers of the kernel, and a coating
of glucose and talc is sometimes applied to give the kernel a glossy finish. Rice that is
processed to remove only the husks, called brown rice, contains about 8 percent
protein and small amounts of fats and is a source of thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, iron,
and calcium. Rice that is milled to remove the bran as well is called white rice and is
greatly diminished in nutrients. When white rice forms a major portion of the diet,
there is a risk of beriberi, a disease resulting from a deficiency of thiamine and
minerals. Parboiled white rice is processed before milling to retain most of the
nutrients, and enriched rice has iron and B vitamins added to it. Rice is cooked by
boiling. It is eaten alone and in a great variety of soups, side dishes, and main dishes
in Oriental, Middle Eastern, and many other cuisines.

The by-products of milling, including bran and rice polish (finely powdered bran and
starch resulting from polishing), are used as livestock feed. Oil is processed from the
bran for both food and industrial uses. Broken rice is used in brewing, distilling, and in
the manufacture of starch and rice flour. Hulls are used for fuel, packing material,
industrial grinding, fertilizer manufacture, and in the manufacture of an industrial
chemical called furfural. The straw is used for feed, livestock bedding, roof thatching,
mats, garments, packing material, and broomstraws.

In the 1960s, the so-called Green Revolution, an international scientific effort to
diminish the threat of world hunger, produced improved strains of numerous food
crops, including that known as miracle rice. Bred for disease resistance and increased
productivity, this variety is characterized by a short, sturdy stalk that minimizes loss
from drooping. Poor soil conditions and other factors, however, inhibited its anticipated
widespread success.

The principal rice-producing countries are China, India, Japan, Bangladesh, Indonesia,
Thailand, and Burma. Other important producers are Vietnam, Brazil, South Korea,
Philippines, and the United States. In the late 20th century, the world rice crop
averaged between 800,000,000,000 and 950,000,000,000 pounds annually and was
cultivated on an average of about 358,000,000 acres (145,000,000 hectares). See also
wild rice.