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What is rice?
Many people perceive “Rice” as just an ordinary table rice that is cooked daily in our kitchen or paddy rice stored in barns in the paddy fields. Most people especially Asians of today who grew up with rice normally view rice as simple staple food and there is nothing special in it.

But in fact, the word “rice”, to the ancient-time Asians; implies miracles in many respects.

To many Westerners, rice is being regarded as the most useful and valuable plant. The miracle of rice started from its biological differences between rice strains which are vast differences in characteristics.

When we start considering each and every element of nutrients commonly found in each rice kernel, many people will certainly change their mind and give rice a much higher value than what they used to perceive what rice was.


What is Rice?
USA Rice Federation states that rice is the staple food for two-thirds of the world’s population. It is a wholesome and nutritious cereal grain that has qualities which make it ideally suited for special dietary needs.

Rice contains 103 calories per half-cup serving of white rice and 108 calories per half-cup serving of brown rice
  • » Is cholesterol-free.
  • » Has only a trace of fat.
  • » Is sodium-free.
  • » Is a complex carbohydrate.
  • » Is gluten-free and non-allergenic.
  • » Is easy to digest.

Rice is a complex carbohydrate, an important part of the human diet, used to fuel the body. Complex carbohydrates are stored in muscles and released as energy when needed. Nutritionists recommend at least half the calories we consume should come from complex carbohydrates.
ice protein, when compared to that of other grains, is considered one of the highest quality proteins. It has all eight of the essential amino acids, necessary building blocks for strong muscles. Rice is also a good source of other essential nutrients - thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus, iron, and potassium. Rice is healthful for what it does not contain as well. It has only a trace of fat, no cholesterol and no sodium. This along with being non-allergenic and gluten free, makes rice especially well suited for persons with special dietary needs.
What is the Composition of Rice Grain?
The proportion by weight of rice is 80% starch and 20% bran and endosperm. Very little protein is found in the starchy part in the endosperm. The thickness of the layer of rice bran differs from variety to variety, the endosperm is found at one end of the grain, the part connecting to the stem where or the beginning of the sprouting point. While rice hull is the part covering the whole grain of rice.
Rice Starch
Rice starch is produced in the form of rough granule within a round organelle called amyloplasts.

The size of the starch granule ranges from smaller than 6?m, such as, in rice to bigger than 80?m in potato.

The starch granule comprises 2 major parts; the alpha-glucan known as amylose and amylopectin approx. 85-90% by weight and approx. 10-15% water, 1% fat and very low protein (<0.5% by weight) while fat is consisted of lypophospholipid (LPL) and free fatty acid: FFA) (Tester, 1997)

Endosperm
The energy source from carbohydrate is mainly found in the part of endosperm and they are known as
  • » amylose (normal rice)
  • » amylopectin (sticky rice)

All rice contain amylose and amylopectin, but at different proportion.

Amylose
comprises 250-300 molecules of glucose. These are long chain glucose units shaped in helix form. The weight of Amylose molecular is approx. 500,000 Da linked mainly by a - 1.4 – linkage and partly by a - 1.6 – linkage.
Amylopectin
Sometimes comprises of up to 1,000 molecules of glucose. Apart from being long chain glucose units like Amylose, Amylopectin is also found connected in branches
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Rice, a kind of cereal well-known to the Thais and to all of Asia as a staple food for centuries, has plaed an essential role in nutrition and to the health of people worldwide....
Award
Rice is an integral part of Thai culture and our way of life. It is the lifeblood nourishing Thailand from the past and into the future. History clearly demonstrates the enormous potential of Thai rice and its intrinsic values which has yet to be fully relised. Innovation can and will enable us to continue to hold on to rice as our precious national asset, especially our native and pure varieties which will allow more value added to be captured in an effective manner....