Producing good quality milled rice
There are three requirements for producing good quality milled rice:
Good quality paddy
The starting quality of the paddy is should be good and paddy should be at the right moisture content (14%) and have a high purity.
Characteristics of a good quality paddy
- uniformly mature kernels
- uniform size and shape
- free of fissures
- free of empty or half filled grains
- free of contaminants such as stones and weed seeds
..for good quality milled rice
- high milling recovery
- high head rice recovery
- no discoloration
It is not possible to produce good quality milled rice with poor milling equipment even if the paddy quality is optimal and the operater is skilled.
It is evenly important to service and maintain the mill properly. The rice mill should always be clean and well maintained.
There are good and poor rice mill operators. Often, the mill operator is an untrained apprentice who has picked up skills on the job.
The mill should be operated by a skilled operator.
An operator who is continually adjusting valves, hammering ducts, and screens does not have the required skills. In properly designed mills there should be very little adjusting required with the machines, once a steady state in the grain flow is attained. His mill however is often dusty, dirty, with ducts and bearings worn-out. Tell tales of improper mill operation are paddy in the rice husk exhaust, rice husk in the separator, brokens in the bran, excessive bran recovery, and under-milled rice. Training of operators in operation and maintenance of rice mills are crucial in improving rice quality.
If any of these requirements is not met, milling will result in poor quality rice. For instance, milling of poor quality paddy will always result in poor quality milled rice, even if a state-of-the-art mill is used or the miller is experienced.
Similarly, the use of good quality paddy by a well skilled operator may result in poor quality rice if the mill is not maintained regularly. The losses in rice milling that can be attributed poor paddy quality, machine limitations, or operator innocence, is anywhere from 3 to 10% of potential.