Rice - food
VarietiesRice varieties are variable in their culinary qualities. Long grain, short grain, white, brown, red, black, basmati or jasmine are some of the choices that face shoppers in even British supermarkets. Every part of Asia has its own favourite varieties and characteristics.
The colour of rice comes from its outer shell or 'bran' which holds much of its nutritional value. When rice is processed (milled) much of the nutritional value is lost when the bran is removed. The result is pure white rice which is high in energy and low in micronutrients.
|Image: Rice has been an important and staple food in India for many years.|
Because milled rice has lots of energy but few vitamins and minerals, it must be eaten with other foods so that people can get a balanced diet. Where people have a diet very high in white rice and low in other foods they can suffer from thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiency. To raise the nutritional value of white rice, it is soaked and steamed before milling, and some of the nutrients 'stick' to the inner grain. This parboiled rice is less easy to cook as the processing has made it harder.