The two main types of rice: INDICA RICE and JAPONICA RICE
Most of all the varieties of rice in the world can be categorised into two main types:
Japonica Rice and Indica Rice.
Japonica rice is usually grown in temperate climates, such as Portugal, Spain, Japan, California, and Italy. The grains are round and do not easily crack or break. When cooked, this rice is sticky and moist. The rice produced in Japan is mostly Japonica. LEGroup Industries offers the Calrose and Camolino medium grain varieites of this under its brands such as Royal Grain for example.
Indica rice is usually grown in hot climates. The grains are long and tend to break easily. When cooked, the rice is fluffy and does not stick together. Most of the rice produced in Southern Asia, including Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Vietnam and Southern China is Indica rice. We offer a white variety of this type of rice, such as white long grain, parboiled long grain, jasmine rice, and more.
Indica rice is grown mostly in tropical and subtropical regions and accounts for more than 75 percent of global trade. Indica cooks dry, with separate grains. Indica has broad to narrow, light green leaves and tall to intermediate plant stature (except for the semi-dwarf). Indica plants tiller profusely. Indica grains are long to short, slender, somewhat flat, and the spikelets are awnless. Indica grains shatter more easily and have 23-31% amylose content.
Japonica rice, typically grown in regions with cooler climates, accounts for more than 10 percent of global rice trade. It has narrow, dark green leaves, medium-height tillers and short to intermediate plant stature. Japonica grains are short, roundish, spikelets are awnless to long-awned, grains do not shatter easily, and have 0-20% amylose content.
Aromatic rice, primarily jasmine from Thailand and basmati from India and Pakistan, accounts for 12-13 percent of global trade and sells at a premium in world markets.
Both Japonica and Indica types of rice include non-glutinous and glutinous rice. Each type of rice has its own special characteristics and each has its own place in rice cooking.
Non-glutinous rice is popularly used in general rice cooking. This rice is somewhat transparent and when cooked is less sticky than glutinous rice. It is usually cooked in water and served plain.
Glutinous rice tends to be white and opaque and is very sticky when cooked. It is commonly used to make rice cakes and various kinds of desserts, and processed to make rice snacks. Glutinous rice, grown mostly in South-eastern Asia and used in desserts and ceremonial dishes, accounts for the remainder.
Aromatic and Glutinous rice varieties are seen in both Indica and Japonica main types of rice.
There are more than forty thousand different varieties of cultivated rice (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 Genetics Bank and these are used by researchers from all over the world.
The different varieties of rice are not considered interchangeable, either in food preparation or agriculture. Therefore, each major variety is a completely separate market. It is common for one variety of rice to rise in price while another one drops in price.
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