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Rice / Facts

    Rice Facts
    Did You Know?
    A Guide to Rice Cookery
    Measurements and Yields

All About Rice

Rice represents 20 percent of the world's per capita caloric consumption. More than 50 percent of the world's population is dependent upon rice for 80 percent of its diet.

Rice is cultivated in more than 100 countries and on every continent except Antarctica - from sea level to an altitude of 3,000 meters. To keep pace with demand, technological advances in production are occurring rapidly. However, much of the world's rice crop is still dependent upon annual rainfall patterns, such as occur during the Asian monsoon season. Changes in world weather patterns can easily alter the delicate balance between world supply and demand, dramatically affecting world rice trade patterns and price levels.

World rice trade represents only about 5 percent of world consumption. However, this relatively small amount traded (worth roughly $5.0 billion annually) has a major impact on world economic and political policies.

Well over a hundred countries in the world import rice annually. Trade in rice is stratified according to rice types. More than three-fourths of the total rice traded in the world is long grain (Indica) rice. Most of the remainder is medium or short grain (Japonica) rice. About two-and-one-half-million tons of aromatic rice, and up to 100,000 tons of glutinous rice, are traded annually. For exporting nations, meeting market needs entails supplying the type, form, class and quality of rice that satisfy local taste preferences.

The United States is unique as a major exporter of all rice types. The U.S. rice industry is able to provide rice in whatever form desired (i.e. brown, milled, parboiled) and according to the shipment basis required (packaged, bagged, bulk, destination bagging, f.a.s., f.o.b., c.i.f., etc.). Quality standards for USA rice are closely adhered to and, in addition, are continually reviewed and updated. Thus the U.S. rice industry offers product diversity, availability, reliability, and service unsurpassed in the world.


Did You Know?

  1. Rice is the staple food for two-thirds of the world's population. The simple grain has been a popular life-sustaining food for thousands of years because it is nutritious, versatile, economical, easy to prepare and tastes good!
  2. Rice is a complex carbohydrate. Humans need complex carbohydrates in their diet because they fuel the body. Complex carbohydrates are stored in muscles and released as energy as needed.
  3. Rice 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 contains no fat, no cholesterol and no sodium. This along with being nonallergenic and gluten free, makes rice especially well suited for persons with special dietary needs.
  4. Rice offers versatility unsurpassed by an other food. It can be made part of any meal in recipes for soups, salads, main dishes and desserts.
  5. In Asia rice is considered sacred. In Japan there are shrines to the god of rice.
  6. Honda means "main rice field." Toyota means " bountiful rice field."
  7. Arkansas is the largest rice producing state in the U. S.
  8. Rice can be indefinitely cropped in irrigated fields. Some rice fields are believed to have been continously cropped for more than 2,000 years.
  9. There are over 29,000 grains of rice in one pound (based on long grain white rice).
  10. In Japan, rice grains are affectionately called "little buddhas," to encourage children to eat rice for the rest of their lives.
  11. The Greek poet, Sophocles, in 495 BC mentioned rice in the Tragedies.
  12. Louis Armstrong signed his autograph "Red Beans and Ricely Yours..."
  13. In China, the typical greeting is "Have you had your rice today?" The typical answer is "Yes."
  14. In India, it is said the grains of rice should be like two brothers: close but not stuck together.
  15. In Thailand when you call your family to a meal you say, "Eat Rice."
  16. The Japan word for cooked rice is the same as the word for meal.

A Guide to Rice Cookery

Holding rice after cooking:

  • TO HOLD RICE FOR SHORT PERIODS (UP TO ONE HOUR) -- Turn rice immediately into shallow pans, cover and keep warm. Rice should not be left in stockpot more than 10 minutes after cooking is completed. The addition of one-half cup melted butter, margarine or oil to each gallon of cooked rice will help keep the grains separate and moist.
  • TO HOLD MORE THAN ONE HOUR -- Rice should be undercooked slightly before serving. Place in shallow pans and add one-half cup butter, margarine or oil and one-half cup boiling water for each gallon of rice. (Small quantities may be kept warm in a covered colander over hot water.)
  • TO REFRIGERATE RICE -- Cover well to prevent grains from drying or absorbing flavors of other foods. Refrigerated rice may be held as long as one week.
  • TO REHEAT RICE -- Add one-half cup liquid per quart of cooked rice. Cover and heat on top of range or in oven.

Cooking Methods:

  • STOCKPOT METHOD -- Combine ingredients in stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir once or twice. Cover with a tight fitting lid or heavy-duty foil. Lower heat to simmer; cook 15 minutes (25 minutes for parboiled rice; 45 minutes for brown rice). If rice is not quite tender or liquid is not absorbed, replace lid and cook 2 to 4 minutes longer. Remove from heat and transfer immediately to shallow pan(s). Keep in warm place until served.
  • OVEN METHOD -- Use boiling liquid. Place ingredients in shallow pan(s); stir. Cover with tight lid or foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes. (35 minutes for parboiled rice; 1 hour for brown rice).
  • STEAMER METHOD -- Use boiling liquid. Place ingredients in steamer pan(s); stir. Place uncovered pan(s) in steamer and cook according to manufacturer's directions. Or using 5 to 10 pounds pressure, cook 15 to 20 minutes (20 to 25 minutes for parboiled rice or brown rice).

Tips For Perfect Rice:

  • Keep lid on tightly during cooking to prevent steam from escaping.
  • At end of cooking time remove lid and test for doneness. If rice is not quite tender or liquid not absorbed, cook 2 to 4 minutes longer.
  • When rice is cooked in stockpot, immediately turn into shallow pan or pans.
  • All cooked rice should be fluffed with a fork or slotted spoon to allow steam to escape.

Measurements and Yields:

 Types of Rice Uncooked Rice Water Salt Butter, Margarine or Oil Approximate No. of 1/2 cup servings
 Parboiled Rice
 (or Brown Rice)
3.5 cups
(1 lb 8 oz)
7.5 cups 4 tsp 2 tbsp 25
3.5 quart
(6 lb)
7.5 qt 1/3 cup 1/2 cup 100
 Regular Milled White  Long Grain Rice 1 qt
(1 lb 10 oz)
2 qt 4 tsp 2 tbsp 25
1 gal
(6 lb 8 oz)
2 gal 1/3 cup 1/2 cup 100
 Regular Milled White  Medium Grain Rice 4.5 cups
(2 lb)
1.75 qt 4 tsp 2 tbsp 25
4.5 qt
(8 lb)
1.75 gal 1/3 cup 1/2 cup 100