Submitted to: United States Japan Natural Resources Protein Panel
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Currently 1.1 million hectares of rice are planted in two regions of the U.S., California and in the Mid-South. Over 70 percent of the US acreage is planted to long grain cultivars with medium grain cultivars being grown in California, Louisiana and Arkansas. Approximately 60 percent of the rice produced in the US is domestically consumed. US rice occupies about 16 percent of that in world trade and is known for its high quality. Research objectives for US rice breeders include improving yield and quality of new cultivars so that US rice producers can remain competitive in domestic and foreign markets. Since medium and long grain rices predominate in the US, breeding lines are selected to fit the quality parameters of these market classes. Streamlined methods for estimating amylose content, protein content, and gelatinization temperature have been developed. These methods are not highly sensitive but allow breeders to categorize breeding lines into market classes. Other methods are used to determine aroma, starch pasting properties, and cooked rice texture. Breeding efforts are also being targeted towards niche markets which include basmati, Japanese premium quality, mochi, firm cooking aromatics, Jasmine quality, arborrio, soft cooking long grains, and rice which can withstand processing. Although these markets are relatively small, they are usually associated with higher value. Although US rice breeding programs are starting to utilize descriptive taste panels, there is still a lack of knowledge about the genetic control of these attributes. Further information is needed to link quality attributes with consumer preferences in the ethnically diverse US domestic market, as well as in export markets.