SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija (PNA) — The Philippine Center for Post-Harvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) on Thursday unveiled its latest innovation that, when fully commercialized, would enhance the production of brown rice across the country.
PhilMech director Rex Bingabing said the retrofitted compact rice mill is a modified version of the common rice milling machine typically used in almost all (96.25 percent) rice mills in the Philippines.
He said that by modifying the layout of the ordinary compact rice mill and adding a diverting chute, a single layer paddy separator and bucket elevator paddy separator, the retrofitted machine will allow rice mill owners to produce both well-milled and brown rice.
The modified compact rice mill was a collaborative project between PhilMech and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) that aimed to address the increasing demand for brown rice which contains more nutrients than well-milled rice.
The PhilMech chief said that through the collaboration of the two agencies, they have come up with a technology that is of superior quality due to the sharing of technology, manpower and expertise.
“With the development of this modified rice mill, we hope to encourage consumption of brown rice by increasing its supply and availability,” Bingabing said.
Meanwhile, DOST Assistant Secretary Robert Dizon said that aside from the health benefits provided by brown rice, its availability and consumption would ease the pressure on the demand for well-milled rice.
He said the production of brown rice would also lead to an expected additional supply of rice by up to 10 percent since the milling recovery of brown rice is higher than 10 percent than that of well-milled rice.
The retrofitted compact rice mill has a capacity of 495 kilograms of brown rice per hour and has a milling recovery of almost 70 percent.
“The added rice supply would reduce our country’s need to import rice. Using the retrofitted compact rice mill to produce both well-milled rice and brown rice would also translate to a substantial increase in income to our local rice mill owners,” Dizon said.
In the meantime, PhilMech and DOST are now hoping that commercialization of the new technology would be fast-tracked in order to spread its use throughout the country.
Bingabing said that several rice mill operators have already expressed their interest in having the technology.
“Pending the completion of the process of transferring the technology to interested accredited local fabricators, we believe that the retrofitted compact rice mill would soon be available to rice mill operators nationwide in a year’s time,” Bingabing said.