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Chapter: Biology: Economic Biology (Botany)

Food producing plants

They are: l. Carbohydrates, 2. Protein, 3. Fats, 4. Mineral salts, 5. Vitamins and 6.Water. Every category of food contains some amount of water. Short introductions of 10 food-producing plants are stated here.

Food producing plants:


Food gives us energy to work, fulfils the decaying of body and adds nutrition to our body. According to nature of nutrient compounds, human foods are divided into six categories. They are: l. Carbohydrates, 2. Protein, 3. Fats, 4. Mineral salts, 5. Vitamins and 6.Water. Every category of food contains some amount of water. Short introductions of 10 food-producing plants are stated here.

1. Paddy (Oryza sativa):Paddy is a grass likeplant. The stem is hollow, leaves are elongated and with leaf sheath. Panicle of paddy grows at the apex of the stem. in Bangladesh three varieties of rice are cultivated - a) Aus (sown in Feb - April), b) Amon (sown in wet soil during June-July), c) Boro (sown in low land during . Nov.-Jan).Besides these high yielding varieties of IRRI and BRRI paddy also cultivated. IRRI and BRRI varieties of paddy may be sown as Aus, Amon or Boro.

Uses: We get rice from paddy and boiled rice is our staple food. From paddywe also get flattened rice (Chira) and Puffed rice (Muri).


2. Wheat (Triticum sp):Like paddy wheat is also a grass in nature. The plantattains a height of 2-3 ft. Wheat plant also bears apical inflorescence.


Uses: We get Suji, Aata, (course flour), and Moida (flour) fromwheat. in many countries (cold countries) wheat is the staple food.


3. Maize or Corn (Zea mays):Maize is an annual monocot plant. It attains a height of 3-6 feet. Its stem is solid and from the lower part of the stem there develops stilt roots. The plant producestwo  types  of  inflorescence  -  the  male inflorescence is called tassel and the female inflorescence is called Cob.Uses: Corn grains are eaten afterroasting in fire, from corn grains cornflakes, corn oil, corn flour etc. are made. Corn oil cantains very less amount of cholesterol and it is good for our health. In many countries (mexico) corn is the staple food.


4. Potato (Solanum tuberosum):Potato plant is a small herb in nature. stem issoft, leaves are compound. Tip of the underground portion of stem becomes swollen and produces the potato tuber. In our country potatoes are used as vegetables, but it is the staple food in many countries like Ireland. Wheat, Rice Maize, Potatoes, these are all carbohydrate food.


The following table (Table-16.1) shows a comparative statement of the amount (in 100 grams) of Carbohydrate, Protein and Fat in Rice, Wheat, Maize and Potatoes.

5. Lentils (Lens esculanta):Lentils (Mosoor) is an annual winter crops. Leavesare compound, leaflet slender, elongated, and many in number per leaf. Flowers are Papilionaceous. Fruits are flat pod It is used in every day's menu as dal.


6. Gram or chickepe a (Cicer arietinum):Chipckpea is a winter crop. Stem attains aheight of 1-2 feet. Leaves are pinately compound. Leaflet semicircular, margin dented, flower papilionaceous.


7. Groundnut (Arachis hypogea):Groundnut plant is an annual, small herb.Leaves are compound, imparipinnate. Flowers grow on the soil surface on the aerial part  of  the plant but  after pollination  it  thrusts.  into  the  soil. Thus the  fruit develops under the surface of the Soil. Lentils, gram, groundnut etc. are proteinaceous food because they contain much protein. Ground may also be nut called oily food.


The  following  table  (table  16.2)  shows  a  comparative  statement  of  the amount (in 100 grams) of Protein, Fat and Carbohydrates in Lentils, Gram and Groundnut

8. Mango (Mangifrera indica):Mango plant is a big tree. Its leaves are simple,elongated and alternate. Flowers grow in inflorescence. Fruits ripen in summer. Mango is said to be the king of fruits. Mango plant grows from seeds; again it can be grown by grafting or layering. The fleshy mesocarp of the fruit is eaten.

9. Banana (Musa sp.):The stem of Banana plants lies near the soil surface. It iscalled rhizome. Aerial part develops from the rhizome. The aerial part of the plant is actually a compactly arranged leaf bases. It is not a true stem. Banana grows throughout the year. New plants grow from the suckers. The whole fruit except the outer covering is eaten. In many countries Banana is the staple food. Banana may compensate iron deficiency in our body.


10. Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus):Jackfruit plant is a big tree. Leavesare simple, alternate, and more or less obovate. The fruit is complex and large. Plant grows from seeds. The edible parts of jackfruit are fleshy. Bracts, perianth and seeds. In addition to carbohydrates, fat and protein, we get mineral salts and vitamins from fruits like mango, banana and jackfruit.


The following table (Table - 16.3) shows a comparative statement of different constituents (in 100 gm.) of food in mango, banana and jackfruit.

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