Rice is a cereal grain which belongs to the grass species Oryza glaberrima (African rice) and Oryza sativa (Asian rice). It is one of the oldest cereal grains in the world and it has been cultivated for at least 5,000 years. Rice is the most widely consumed staple food for more than half of the world’s population, especially in Africa and Asia. The grain comes in over 40,000 varieties with different shapes, sizes, textures, aroma and colors. Depending on how these varieties of rice are processed they can be grouped into two categories: Brown rice (whole grain) and White rice.

Brown rice and white rice have a similar amount of carbohydrates and calories. Brown rice is a whole grain (since only its inedible out hull is removed) and is therefore a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, thiamine, niacin, manganese and is high in fiber compared to white rice. White rice is refined and polished and stripped of its inedible hull, the bran layer and the germ. This increases its cooking quality, shelf life and tastiness but significantly reduces its nutritional value.

Rice regardless of whether it is whole grained or polished is gluten-free, which makes it ideal for consumption by people with gluten insensitivities who may suffer from serious intestinal issues if they accidentally consumed food with gluten

Rice is a staple food and is consumed worldwide mainly because of it nutritional value and its accessibility. It is also used for other purposes such as in the production of building materials, fertilizer, toothpaste, fireworks, insulation material and fuel

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