March 13, 2017

14/03/2017: How to control moisture in parboiled rice production

Around 50 percent of the world’s paddy rice production is parboiled

This is a process during rice production in which the paddy (raw) rice is steamed in the husk and then dried. This hardens the individual grains making them easier to handle and reduces the amount of broken kernels during milling. Other benefits include an increased product storage life, an increased nutritional value and sterilization of the grain.

The need to measure moisture

There are three basic steps to the parboiling process. While in the paddy form, the rice is soaked to achieve an optimum moisture level typically around 30 percent. The rice is then heat treated by steaming or boiling which gelatinizes the starch within the kernel.

This part of the process increases the moisture content of the rice grains to around 38 percent. Finally, the rice is dried to a moisture level of 12-14 percent where it can then be stored or moved through to a milling process.

Incorrect moisture levels in the parboiled rice leads to breakages during the milling and de-husking process as well as colour variation in the final product after polishing. This results in wasted material, which increases production costs.

In addition, parboiled rice contains a higher percentage of moisture than field rice and therefore requires a greater amount of energy to dry it to the correct moisture level.

Accurately controlling the drying process will reduce the amount of energy required and will also produce a high quality consistent product while also reducing costs.

Hydronix moisture sensors

Hydronix is a world-leading manufacturer of online microwave moisture measurement sensors. Established in 1982, Hydronix pioneered the microwave moisture measurement technique.

With a commitment to research and development the latest sensors incorporate a unique digital measurement technique. Hydronix moisture sensors are constructed to withstand the harshest of industrial environments.

The sensors are immune from the effects of colour changes in the rice and dust or moisture in the atmosphere. They are designed to be fully temperature stable and are manufactured to exact tolerances ensuring that each sensor has identical measurement characteristics. This means that they are precise, easy to use and reliable.

In this application and installation, Hydronix would recommend the Hydro-Mix sensor that’s has been designed for flowing organic materials such as grains, nuts and pulses.

The Hydro-Mix has configurable parameters such as signal filtering and smoothing designed to eliminate measurement noise created by small fluctuations in material flow density. The sensor also features configurable alarms and a material temperature output.

The user may select from a choice of output options such as 0-20mA (0-10V), 4-20mA, USB, Ethernet and RS485/232 and may be configured to output a moisture percentage value directly from the sensor.

The Hydronix Hydro-Com software enables simple set-up and configuration of the sensor using a PC or laptop and USB connection.

The benefits of installing Hydronix microwave moisture measurement sensors include dryers that can be used more efficiently reducing energy costs, an improved and consistent final product, reduction in the level of broken kernels and wasted material.

Read the full article HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine Milling and Grain
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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