Did you know that only 1-2% of the rice grain is the embryo needed for the new rice plant to grow? The plant seed must be one of the most wondrous things in nature as it encases the entire new life for reproduction.
The seed contains everything necessary for the growth and development of a new plant. There are three primary parts of a seed – the embryo, endosperm, and seed coat. The embryo is the young multicellular organism before it emerges from the seed. The endosperm is a source of stored food, consisting primarily of starches/carbohydrates. The seed coat consists of one or more protective layers that encase the seed.
When we deconstruct this way, brown rice consists of the outer layers of pericarp, seed-coat and nucellus; the germ or embryo; and the endosperm. The endosperm consists of the aleurone layer and the endosperm proper, consisting of the sub aleurone layer and the starchy or inner endosperm. The aleurone layer encloses the embryo. Pigment is confined to the pericarp (Juliano and Bechtel, 1985).
Therefore, in terms of the composition of the rice grain, the hull (husk) constitutes about 20 percent of the rough rice weight, but values range from 16 to 28 percent. The distribution of brown rice weight is pericarp 1 to 2 percent, aleurone plus nucellus and seed-coat 4 to 6 percent, germ 1 percent, scutellum 2 percent and endosperm 90 to 91 percent (Juliano, 1972). That is a small powerful package with 1% possibility and 100% potential.
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