Breeding for superior morphological and physicochemical properties of rice to ensure best value to the end-product

Rice breeders have devoted attention primarily to increasing farm yield. However, attention to yield and usevalue of the ultimate rice product is equally important. High milled rice yield, low milling breakage, good storage and handling properties, faster cooking, and preferred flavour and taste of rice product are some of the desirable end-use properties. All these can be achieved by breeding for specific properties. Uniform flowering of plant and short panicle length will help in reducing milling breakage. Eliminating wide grains (brown rice kernels > 2.3 mm wide) which promote white belly that promotes grain cracking, selecting for crack resistance, selecting for hard kernels with shallow ridges, and selecting for low husk content will help in reducing grain breakage and increasing milling yield. Proper grain size and shape to obtain good storage and flow properties as well as short cooking time are desirable. Tight lemma-palea interlocking will promote insect and crack resistance. Appropriate chemical and physical properties required to produce best products (puffed rice, popped rice, preferred table rice texture and taste) should be kept in view.

Author : K. R. Bhattacharya