Everett Griner talks about the new popularity of black rice in today’s Agri View. Rice is not one of the most favorite foods in America. It is however one of the most consumed foods in the world. When you hear the word “rice” you think of one of the tiny white seeds in a cellophane bags. The fact is rice is a very versatile product. There is other rice than just white rice. There is red rice, brown rice, black rice and even pink rice.
Black rice (also known as longevity rice and purple rice) is a range of rice types of the species Oryza sativa L., some of which are glutinous rice. Varieties include Indonesian black rice and Thai jasmine black rice. Black rice is high in nutritional value and is a source of iron, vitamin E, and antioxidants (more than in blueberries). The bran hull (outermost layer) of black rice contains one of the highest levels of anthocyanin antioxidants found in food. The grain has a similar amount of fiber to brown rice and, like brown rice, has a mild, nutty taste. In China, black rice is claimed to be good for the kidney, stomach and liver.
Black rice has a deep black color and usually turns deep purple when cooked. Its dark purple color is primarily due to its anthocyanin content, which is higher by weight than that of other colored grains. It is suitable for making porridge, dessert, traditional Chinese black rice cake or bread. Noodles have been produced from black rice.
Thai black jasmine rice, while not as prevalent as the white and brown varieties, adds more vibrant color to meals, as well as providing additional health benefits.
Black rice contains essential amino acid like lysine, Tryptophan; vitamins such as vitamin B1, vitamin B2, folic acid; and is a good source of minerals including iron, zinc, calcium and phosphorus.