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Why Is Using Proper Rice Processing Equipment Crucial?

Rice processing equipment shares some similarities to other forms of milling machines. Although, preparing this grain for eating requires more thorough cleaning, grading and handling than most other foods. The raw grains harvested from the field are known as paddy, and each paddy grain is covered in an inedible husk that must be removed before milling. Once it is gone, the grains can be cleaned, graded, milled, polished and packaged for consumers around the world.

The first piece of rice processing equipment that the paddy will be run through is a separator. This is normally done to the paddy as it is transported into the facility. The separator is fitted with a fine mesh that the paddy can slip through. Larger inedible pieces, like straw, cannot pass through this mesh and is ferried away. This machine typically uses steady vibrations to move the paddy through the mesh. Before the paddy is moved to milling, it is cleaned a second time using a more thorough vibrating mesh.

Once the paddy is cleaned and separated from straw, string, rope and other inedible material, it is husked. The equipment used for this purpose is similar to milling machines employed in wheat preparation. The standard huller consists of a feed shaft and a series of break rollers that apply a great amount of force to the paddy. The hull is shattered and removed during this procedure and what is left is known as brown rice. Brown grains are darker in color because they are still covered with the bran, or outer coating that protects the germ and endosperm. Brown grains can be prepared for consumption following husking.

Gravity separators then pick out any lightweight impurities and poor grains that are still left in the brown grains. A destoner removes any rocks, sand or tramp metal from the material with more vibratory energy. At this point, equipment can be used to mill the brown grain into white grains, which are preferred by many consumers. During milling, the grains are lightly scuffed at high speeds to get rid of the outer bran layer and the germ. Unlike wheat, the bran on the rice is almost never added back into the grains later.

Once milled and separated again to remove any lingering brown grains, the material is polished and washed. This removes any remnants of the bran or germ and leaves the grains with a pearl-like shine. However, rice polishing processing equipment tends to remove more nutrition from the material, so the product is typically fortified at the end. Some countries, including the U.S., mandate fortification. Once fortified, the material is packaged into large bags by automated filling machines. The bags are sewn or sealed shut with a bag closer, and loaded onto trucks or pallets with an automated palletizer.

These grains are a major food staple around the world, and must be milled and cleaned thoroughly to ensure safe consumption. Facilities dedicated to this grain must keep many machines operating at peak capacity to keep up with the demand for the grain.

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