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Black rice (also known as purple rice or forbidden rice) is a range of rice types, some of which are glutinous rice. Varieties include but are not limited to Indonesian black rice and Thai jasmine black rice. Black rice is high in nutritional value and contains 18 amino acids, iron, zinc, copper, carotene, and several important vitamins. The grain has a similar amount of fiber to brown rice[unreliable source?] and like brown rice, has a mild, nutty taste. In China, black rice is claimed to be good for the kidney, stomach and liver; these claims have not been independently verified.
Black rice is 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 but more limited in the number of different anthocyanin species present. It is suitable for making porridge and it can also be used for making dessert, traditional Chinese black rice cake or bread.
Black rice was proclaimed as a 'superfood' worldwide largely thanks to an important piece of research by Dr. Zhimin Xu, titled "Black rice rivals pricey blueberries as source of healthful antioxidants". The research stated that “just a spoonful of black rice bran contains more health promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than are found in a spoonful of blueberries, but with less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants". Several value-added products have since been launched using Black Rice. These include noodles and Black Rice Cracker Chips.
The black and white aromatic rices (Chakhao amubi and Chakhao poireiton' and Chakhao angouba) of Manipur have their importance as a glutinous or sticky rice and are used for the community feast as well as ceremonial purposes as delicacy. Chak means rice and ahaoba means delicious, therefore, Chakhao means delicious rice. It is sold in the local markets at about Rs. 125 per kg of rice[when?]. The black aromatic rice of Manipur is served in standard hotels as a top rated variety of rice. Rice flake prepared from black rice is becoming popular[when?]. As the black glutinous aromatic rices of Manipur ;;??are poor yielders (about 2,500 kg/ha as paddy), these rices cover only less than 10% of the rain-fed wetland area under local cultivars, although there is a premium in the price of these rices.
It is believed[by whom?] that Chakhao of Manipur came with the people of Manipur, particularly Meiteis when they first settled on this land. The words Amubi and Angouba stand for black and white, respectively, in Manipuri. Hence, Chakhao amubi and Chakhao angouba were named after the black and white color glutinous aromatic rice endosperm of these cultivars.
In ancient China, black rice was considered the finest grain and only served to the Emperor. Therefore, it sometimes is called “forbidden rice,” as it was off limits for the general public.
No systematic work on the improvement of black glutinous aromatic rice of Manipur has so far been taken up. However, germplasm collection, characterization and evaluation of these aromatic rice cultivars of have been made. The black glutinous aromatic rice of Manipur have been characterized for 34 morphological characters. These aromatic rice cultivars have been evaluated for eleven morpho-agronomic characters along with reaction to major diseases and pests of local importance.
As the domestic demand for the black glutinous aromatic rice of Manipur increases, efforts are to be made for developing high yielding varieties without losing the grain quality characters, cooking quality and aroma. The black glutinous aromatic rice of Manipur are in demand in the domestic market as well as are having possibilities for export.
Published research in American Chemical Society