Mechanizing the conditioning process of rice before puffing

The conditioning process involving slow and uniform heating of salt soaked high moisture parboiled rice coupled with turning or agitation before puffing is the most critical factor for obtaining good quality of puffed rice. A mechanized set-up has been developed to produce pre-conditioned rice for puffing with 0.0, 2.5, 3.5 and 5.0% salt (w/w). Pre-conditioning process irrespective of the salt contents continued for about a time period of 90 minutes (except for no salt condition taking about 80 minutes) till the final hardness of the grain was achieved between 44-47N. The final moisture content of the pre-conditioned grain was achieved as 10-10.30 % (wb). Percentage puffing and expansion ratio of machine pre-conditioned rice were observed as 97.8±1.26 %, 6.3±0.28 and 92.2±0.69 %, 6.4±0.22 respectively for microwave puffing and traditional puffing. Therefore, the developed machine is able to produce well conditioned rice for producing quality puffed rice.

Author : Minati Mohapatra and S. K. Das