Rice is a good source of protein and a staple food in many parts of the world. Rice is the seed of the grass species Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza glaberrima (African rice).
As a cereal grain, it is the most widely consumed staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in Asia. It is the agricultural commodity with the third-highest worldwide production, after sugarcane and maize. There are more than 40,000 varieties of cultivated rice (the grass species Oryza sativa) said to exist. But the exact figure is uncertain. Over 90,000 samples of cultivated rice and wild species are stored at the International Rice Gene Bank and these are used by researchers all over the world.
The rice varieties can be divided into 2 basic groups, Long Grain; and All Purpose & Speciality.
- All-purpose long grain rices can be used for all styles of cooking.
- Long grain rice is a slim grain which is 4-5 times as long as it is wide. It undergoes different milling techniques to give different types of rice.