Process for Accelerated Aging of Rice
When cooked, rice fresh after harvest (“new” rice) is soft, moist, and lumpy, which is disliked by consumers in India and many other places. Cooking texture improves after the rice has been stored (“aged”) for several months. A laboratory process for the closed heating of new rice was developed in the early 1960s whereby rice could be artificially aged; however, the process could not be scaled up at that time. This process was re-examined 40 years later, and the technology required for the accelerated aging of rice was developed. The process essentially consists of dry-heating rice continuously in a closed paddle heater; hot-storing the rice in a heated bin for the requisite time; moving the rice continuously through the bin in mass-flow (first in, first out) mode; and cooling the rice with humidified air in a fluidized bed cooler.