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What is Rough Rice?

What is Rough Rice?

Rough rice, also known as paddy rice, is the whole rice grain, along with its hulls (which constitute around 20% of the rice). It is coarser than brown rice or polished rice.

Simply speaking, rough rice refers to rice that comes directly from the field after harvest. It is also known as hulled or unmilled rice and is a whole grain rice that has a slight nutty taste.

Rice is used primarily for consumption as a food staple, but it is also used to make a number of items such as medicines and beverages. A small portion is used to make sake in Japan or soju in Korea.

Rough Rice is considered to be more nutritious than white rice. Rough rice has poor protein but is rich in starch and fiber. Since it is not polished and retains the husk, it retains nutrients like Vitamin B, magnesium and Iron, along with oil, fatty acids and dietary fiber. However, rough rice becomes rancid more quickly than white rice, since it contains bran and germ rich in fats that spoil more quickly as compared to white rice.

Rough rice can be long-grain, short-grain or sticky. There are four main types of rice produced globally. Indica is the most widely grown variety of rice and makes up nearly 75% of the world’s trade. It grows in tropical and subtropical areas primarily. Japonica grows in cooler weather. Aromatic rice comprises jasmine rice from Thailand and Basmati rice from South Asia. This is nearly 13% of the world trade and is considered a premium variety. The last kind is called glutinous that grows mostly in Southeast Asia.

Rice grows across a vast geographical expanse—from China in the Northern Hemisphere to Australia in the southern hemisphere.  China and India are the world’s two largest producers of rice, and Asian countries dominate rice consumption as well.

Rice is one of the highest cost crops to grow. Producing rice requires a large scale effort. In the U.S., rice grows in three main areas in the country in the South, as well as in California. Each of these regions produces its own variety of rice, varying by length. Rice is planted in the U.S. in March, and is grown on well-irrigated fields. This leads to an extremely high yield. This rice is harvested till November.

Rice typically requires high average temperatures during the growing season, a plentiful supply of water, a smooth land surface to facilitate uniform flooding and drainage, and a subsoil hardpan that inhibits the percolation of water. 20-30 degrees (centigrade) is the most optimal day-time temperature for rice. It grows best on fertile soil that is filled with water and kept well irrigated.

Rice plants grow two to six feet tall. Once harvested, rice can be stored for long periods of time if kept in a cool, dry place. This storage lifespan can be further prolonged with refrigeration and freezing.


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