Rice is second-most consumed cereal grain after wheat. As far as 2500 B.C. rice has been documented in the history books as a source of rich nutriment food. Rice could be transported to many parts of the world due to its versatility. Rice is a leading food source for humankind. Children are also served with rice as their solid food.
There are more than 4000 different varieties of rice and out of these verities more than 100 grow world-wide but only around 10% are marketed and sold.
Rice is cultivated in over 112 countries and in every continent except Antarctica. There are over 29,000 grains of rice in one pound of long grain rice. Upon cooking rice swells to give at least three times its original weight. 96% of the world’s rice is eaten in the area in which it is grown.
Rice is a member of the grass family and is related to other grass plants such as wheat, oats and barley which produce grain for food. These are known as cereals. Rice is an annual plant which means it completes its entire life cycle within a year.
Rice plants start their life as tiny rice grains sown in irrigated fields and grow to become green grassy plants about one meter tall. Each plant contains many heads full of tiny rice grains which turn golden when the rice plant is ready to harvest.