Bühler presents its vision for a more sustainable rice processing future at the IRRI International Rice Congress10/27/2014 Food safety and rice fortification on the agenda demonstrating how Bühler can help increase capacity, efficiency and quality throughout the supply chain. The Bühler Group, the world’s leading provider of rice processing equipment and solutions, will be reinforcing its commitment to encouraging the adoption of sustainable rice processing at the upcoming IRRI International Rice Congress 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand. Current global rice production falls far short of projected annual demand which is expected to reach 576 million tonnes by 2035 – requiring an increase of 116 million tonnes of rice production over the next two decades. This cannot be done by increasing yield alone and requires greater efficiency and quality control throughout the supply chain.
Food safety is one of the most critical topics in rice processing today. There is a perceived lack of trust from consumers about the safety of their food supply and they are consequently becoming more and more conscious of the origins of the products they buy. At the same time, more rigorous safety regulation including that of heavy metal content and levels of mycotoxin in rice mean rice processors are faced by an ever more challenging environment in which to operate.
Bühler has long partnered with rice processors globally to ensure high quality rice products. Today a HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) is fundamental to safeguard the integrity and safety of the end product. Equally important is the design of a plant and its equipment. Bühler machines are designed with safety in mind, providing easily removable machine covers and screens for cleaning, as well as sealing systems to prevent any dust leaking out into the plant.
In addition to plant safety, it is vital to reduce the risk of contamination. Bühler’s state-of-the-art optical sorting machines, including the new intelligent SORTEX S UltraVision™, are able to eliminate foreign material such as glass, stones, insects and straw, identify immature, discoloured or rotten grain, and also aid in the detection of mycotoxin contamination ensuring millers can deliver the safest and highest quality product to the market.
Closely linked to food safety is quality. It is vital that millers increase yield and reduce wastage if the industry is to meet demand. In the marketplace, the value of rice depends on whiteness of the product and the lowest possible proportion of broken grain. However, the rice milling process is rigorous, and can weaken and break grain. Most breakage occurs during whitening, when pressurised grinding causes stress leading to temperature increase and a more fragile grain.
Bühler has developed new technology which optimises the whitening process while reducing the risk of broken grain. The new UltraWhite™ rice whitener includes a shaftless milling chamber where fresh air is allowed to pass freely around rice kernels removing bran, reducing the temperature and decreasing breakage. Superior whiteness can be achieved with minimal input making this the most sustainable and profitable rice whitener on the market, able to handle 9 to 14 tonnes of brown rice using only a 55 to 75 KW motor power.
Sujit Pande, Bühler UltraLine™ Product Manager commented: “As global population numbers swell, demand for rice is only going to increase. It is therefore vital that the industry comes together to bring about more sustainable rice production processes. Our machines have been engineered to deliver greater capacity, efficiency and profitability so that millers can increase yield at a lower cost while maintaining the highest quality end product possible.”
Not only must the industry meet growing demand for rice, but it should also consider how it can play a role in improving the diet of those around the world. Brown rice is a source of macro- and micro-nutrients, which are lost during the processing of white rice, when the bran is removed. As the major staple in large parts of the world, rice provides an average of 30% of calories in ‘rice consumption countries’ such as those in Southeast and Northeast Asia, and also plays a central role in social life and culture. It is therefore viewed as an optimal fortification vehicle which, could be used to improve the nutritional intake for thousands of people.
Bühler’s extrusion process delivers a high quality fortified grain. Warm and hot extruded kernels are produced from high-amylose rice flour, a premix and an emulsifier using an adapted pasta-extruder and twin-screw extruder respectively. Compared to natural rice, recomposed rice differs dramatically in structure however, there is high acceptance among consumers. Sensory evaluation using an expert tasting panel showed that when natural rice is blended with extruded rice, even a mix with 20% recomposed rice achieves a score of 27 out of 40, with natural rice achieving 32.
Sujit Pande concluded: “Malnutrition continues to be a huge problem in many parts of the world. Rice fortification is just one way in which the industry can help deliver vital vitamins and nutrients to consumers where the diet is lacking. Our research shows that a combination of fortified rice and natural rice is well perceived in terms of taste and appearance which is very positive when you think about the potential rice fortification offers communities around the world.”
Operating in all the major rice producing and consumption markets Bühler brings over 150 years of grain milling technical expertise and vast experience to bear in all its rice processing solutions. The company’s dedication to investing in research and development highlights its capability to provide high capacity paddy to rice milling solutions which can be tailored to the individual needs of the processor. This commitment to creating a better future in rice processing further cements Bühler’s position as the market leader in this field and the company expects several significant growth opportunities throughout Asia in 2015 as processors adopt Bühler’s industry-proven energy efficient technology solutions.