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Martina F. Tinguil
Post harvest refers to the period after separation from the medium and site of
immediate growth or production of the food (Harris and Lindblad, 1978). It begins when
the process of collecting or separating food of edible quality from its site of immediate
production has been completed. The food need not be moved at any great distance from
the harvest site but it must be separated from the medium that produced it by deliberate
process with the intention of starting it on its way to the table. However, it does not
include the steps between cooking and eating.
The post harvest period of time thus begins at separation of the food item from the
medium of immediate growth or production. It is defined here as ending when the food
enters the process of preparation for final consumption. This period also corresponds to
the agricultural marketing and distribution period in which crop protection activities have
ended. Fruit becomes post harvest after it has been picked. Fruit that falls from the plant
and is allowed to rot on the ground is not a post harvest loss because it was never
harvested. However, if fallen fruit is collected for use, it becomes subject to post harvest
Postproduction is the general term applied to handling of crops from harvest up
to the time they reach the consumer.
Post harvest handling is a specific term used for the movement of commodities
and the operations commodities undergo from harvest to the time immediately prior to
meal preparation or food processing. It includes the technological aspects of marketing
and distribution.
Harvest refers to the single deliberate action to separate the foodstuff (with or
without associated non edible material) from its growth medium-reaping cereals, picking
fruit, lifting fish from water and all succeeding actions are defined as post harvest actions.
Food is any commodity produced or harvested to be eaten by a particular society.
It is measured by the weight of edible material- calculated on a specified moisture basis
that has been harvested, gathered or caught for human consumption and that is consumed
by the population of the area under consideration. For the purpose of this study, primary
attention is focused on the major food crops- cereal grains, grain legumes (the durables)
and root crops, with secondary consideration given to perishables and fish.
Loss is measured as a reduction in weight in the amount of food available for
consumption. Losses that could be avoided or reduced given the right conditions under
constraints of the society in which they occur. Economic considerations may lead to
situations in which it is not desirable to reduce loss that could technically be avoided.
Damage is physically spoilage, often a partial deterioration of one subjectively
judged and very difficult to measure; it is usually reported as a percentage of the food
sample. Damage of a crop sample is not usually the same as weight loss and is usually
not as useful or precise a loss indicator as percent weight loss. It is important that loss
definition be location-specific. Cultural differences create problems in defining loss; what
is considered edible, a delicacy even, in one area (fermented bean curd for example) may
not be viewed as food in another. Loss definition may even be time-specific, with items
rejected in times of plenty consumed in times of want.
Assessment is used to denote the rough quantitative approximation of food loss or
to characterize the relative importance of different points of loss in a particular food
chain. Implicit in the use of this term is subjective judgment required because of
insufficient information.
Measurement is as more precise and objective process by which quantitative
facts about a loss situation are calculated. Implicit in this process is the belief that the
same procedure applied by any observer under the same circumstances will yield the
same result.

Estimation is used to describe the process of interpretation of a number of

scientific measurements and thus requires the experience and judgment be brought to
bear on the factual information under consideration.
Waste or wastage are terms included also however, they cannot be precisely
defined since they involve subjective and even moral value judgments and depend on the
context in which they are used. They should not be used as synonymous with loss and are
probably better avoided.
The word post harvest is a broad term, to avoid confusion use the definition by
Harris and Lindblad, 1978. In the 1960s the field of post harvest was non-existent
probably because it was not important then or it was taken as part of the process of
production. Emphasis was on the increasing yield per unit area without consideration of
losses incurred after the crop has been harvested. Neither was storage ands processing
given any attention and was just taken for granted as the main concerns of the middlemen
or traders.
However, the 70s have completely changed the scenario and have introduced in
the stream of Phil. Agriculture one of the major aspects of the production system, i.e., the
science of post harvest. The critical factors that may be contributory to this are:
1. The development of high yielding varieties
2. The acceptance by the small farmers of modern but expensive technology
package which eventually led to increased production
3. The mandate of an even-exploding population which necessitates storage and
4. The escalating cost of production due to high cost of farm labor and agricultural
The thrust then was no longer focused on increasing production per se but on how
much can be saved from the crop from harvest to milling as in the case of rice. Thus the
word post harvest became a by- word and now is part and parcel of any agricultural
production system.
There are two main subdivisions of postproduction technology of crops (Fig. 1).
1. Primary processing- involves the handling of produce to make them more suitable for
manufacturers and consumers. The fields of study under primary processing are:
1. Primary processing of plantation crops. This refers to handling of crops
grown widely for industrial processing such as cacao and coffee. Primary
processing in this case prepares the crop for the industrial processor.
2. Seed technology. This refers to handling of seed crops for planting. Seed
technology aims to keep the seed viable and vigorous up to planting time.
3. Post harvest handling. Postharvest handling technology aims to keep the
harvested commodity in an acceptable state and for food crops always
palatable. This can be classified into perishables and durables. Perishable
crops include fruits, vegetables, florists crops (cut flowers and florist greens)
young coconut, medicinal crops used in their fresh form, the perishable staple
root crops and nursery stocks. Durable crops include cereal grains and grain
legumes including peanut.
2. Secondary processing- transforms a produce into another form that can no longer be
subjected to another change. Food and industrial processing are classified as secondary
a. Weight loss/quantity loss-refers to the loss of weight over a period under
1. Apparent loss- is the loss of weight during any post harvest operation
under study. This loss does not consider the effect of the moisture
content or the contamination of insects, fungi and foreign materials.



2. Real weight loss- is the apparent weight loss with the connection of
any change in moisture content, dust, frass, insects , etc.
Quality loss- refers to damaged grains and contaminants, such as insect
fragments, rodents hairs and pesticide residues within the grain and
changes in biochemical composition such as increase in fatty acid content:
1. losses due to fungi
2. losses due to insects
3. losses due to contaminants
4. losses due to vertebrate pests
5. changes in biochemical composition
Nutritional loss- refers to the loss in nutritive value. Any loss in weight of
the edible matter involves a loss of nutrient.
Loss of viability- this is one of the losses easiest to estimate and is
apparent through the reduced germination, abnormal growth of rootlets
and shoots and reduced vigor of the plant.
Indirect loss- this involves commercial relationship that may not be
quantified easily. This includes goodwill loss and social loss.


According to Harris and Lindblad (1978) losses in the food grain system in the farm
level is a cycle. It covers from the seed (taken out from the storage bin), planting,
germination, and different growth phases of the crop, maturity, harvesting and storage
(Fig. 2).
The food pipeline depicts the physical and biological ways in which some losses
occur (Fig. 3). The actual movement of food from harvest to consumer may be
simpler or may involve a much more complex system than that represented.
Movement can be irregular or can be halted for long periods of time; batches of a
commodity can be divided and routed through the system by very different paths and
schedules; infusions of a commodity into the system can be made from different
The pipeline also has a number of different kinds of materials. There are the human
and the mechanical parts of the pipeline, the chain of the hands and the line of the
transport vehicles through which food passes with greater or lesser efficiency, speed
and ease. The food in the pipeline is propelled by socioeconomic and political forces;
regulations and other bureaucratic procedures slow down or accelerates the foods
passage from producer to consumer. Despite the complexities of the system of
commodity movement, experienced professionals can make useful estimates of losses
and identify possibilities for loss reduction. Simple observation of such visual indexes
as insects, mold, or leaking roofs may be all that is necessary.
Science, USA,1978)
Total % Weight Loss
Sri Lanka
Note: Rice loss estimates for Southeast Asia (de Padua, 1974)
Post harvest operations
Loss estimate (%)
Total =


1.Proper postharvest handling is an additional or complementary method of solving food
needs or of increasing the amount of food available for consumption.
2.Improve nutrition with better post harvest handling; loss of nutrients with a certain
length of time is minimized.
3.Reduces garbage disposal and pollution problems- especially in urban areas
1. More food due to loss reduction
2. Preventing loss is cheaper than producing more of the same quantity and quality
3. Improving handling practices is less risky than improving the yield by the
addition of inputs
4. The energy used to produce and market food that would otherwise be lost could
be conserved.
5. More rapid in producing desired results than increasing yield
1. Research-research organizations are in need of research staff with backgrounds in
postharvest technology
2. Instruction- it s a part of the agriculture curriculum
3. Extension- need to disseminate post harvest technologies gained from research to
the end users


A combined knowledge of the physical properties and anatomical composition of
the rice grain is a pre-requisite in gaining a closer understanding of what happens to the
grain in the different post harvest operations. Knowledge of the gross anatomy of the rice
grain will help us understand why rice kernels break so easily on mechanical impact
during the physical operations of threshing and milling and under thermal stress during
drying. It will give a fairly precise visual determination of the degree of milling, and the
period of whitening that produces a particular combination of the required recovery,
nutrition and palatability of the grain. Hence, the visible effects of different hulling
methods on the surface tissue of the grain kernels and the kernel itself will indicate the
importance of the correct adjustment of hulling machine in order to prevent breakage, and
ensure higher milling recovery.
After completion of this topic, you should be able to:

Identify and describe the different parts of the rice grain

Enumerate the physical properties of the grain

Describe how paddy rice is being measured and graded



Journals and Technical bulletins


The Husk. The husk, also known as hull, is the most visible part of a rough rice grain
(Fig. 1.) this is formed from the two leaves of the spikelet namely: the palea covering the
ventral part of the seed and lemma covering the dorsal portion. Both parts are
longitudinally joined together by an interlocking fold. This fold is weak point in the hull
and easily breaks up when a twisting force is applied to the grain. The upper end of the
two hull sections transfers into the apiculus sections and finally ends in the pointed awn.
At the lower part, the grain is fixed on the panicle with a two tiny leaf-shaped
called sterile lemma and then rachilla. Normally the panicle breaks off during threshing
however, a small part of the pedicel frequently remains attached to the grain. The husk is
formed mostly of cellulosic and fibrous tissue and is covered with very hard glass-like
spines or trichomes. The presence of this makes the husk abrasive and very hard thus
giving the grain good protection against insects, microorganisms, moisture and gases.
The heating value of the hull is rather high and ranges from 13,000-20,000 kj/kg making
the hull an important source of energy in agriculture. The rice hull consists of silica,
which causes considerable damage to processing equipment through excessive wear and
tear of machine parts and interconnecting transfer facilities.

The Pericarp. The pericarp or frequently known as silver skin, is the layer behind the
hull, a thin fibrous layer that can be seen when the hull is removed (Fig. 2). The
pericarp is usually translucent or grayish in color. When the pericarp is reddish in
color the grain is called red rice. It is considered an integral part of the brown rice
kernel (caryopsis) but is easily removed in the process of whitening. The main
function of the pericarp is to serve as an additional protective layer against molds
and quality deterioration through oxidation and enzymes due to the movements of
oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapor.
The pericarp consist of three layers namely epicarp, mesocarp and cross layer.
Immediately under the pericarp layer is the testa or tegmen layer, which is only a few
cells in thickness with less fiber than the pericarp layer. This layer is rich in oil and
protein but its starch content is very low. Sometimes this layer is considered as part of
the seed coat but because of its oil content, it is normally considered as the outermost
layer of the bran.
The Bran. The bran or aleurone layer is immediately under the testa or tegmen layer
(Fig. 2). This part is the main constituent removed in the whitening stage during milling.
The bran contains a high percentage of oil, protein, vitamins and minerals but very low in
starch content. Because of its high oil content, the bran is easily affected by oxidation
when the oxygen in the air comes in contact with oil.
In the milling process, the higher milling degree of grains indicates a greater
percentage of bran removed. Table 1 shows the degree of milling as determined by the
quantity of the outer layer removed from the brown rice kernels. When the paddy is well
milled or over milled it appears shiny and white. However, its vitamin (mostly vitamin B
complexes), protein, mineral, and oil contents are lessened. This explains why people
with beri-beri or Vitamin B deficiency are advised to eat brown rice. In the processing
industry, parboiling before milling can retain vitamins in the grain. This allows the
movement of nutrients from the bran layer to the inner part of the grain thus, making the
vitamins available in the milled rice.
The Embryo. The embryo is located at the ventral bottom portion of the grain, where the
grain has been attached to the panicle of the rice plant (Fig. 2). This is the living organism
in the grain that develops into a new plant. The embryo respires by taking oxygen in the
air, consumes food, which comes from the starch in the grain itself while simultaneously
releasing moisture and heat. This explains why grains during storage tend to have a
decreasing weight as a result of the loss in moisture and dry matter content in the
endosperm. During milling, the embryo is removed resulting to an indented shape at one
end of the milled rice.
The Endosperm. When the husk, the pericarp, the bran and the embryo are removed, the
endosperm remains, which mainly consists of starch with only a small concentration of
protein, minerals, vitamins or oil. The energy value of the endosperm is high due to the
high percentage of carbohydrates present.
Length the length of the paddy grain is flexible because of variation in the length of the
awn and the pedicel. It is for this reason that the type of paddy is not determined by the
length of the paddy grain but by the length of the brown rice kernel.
Husk-surface- the husk surface is rather rough and abrasive because of its high silica
content. It is for this reason that rubber-rolls of the hullers are wearing off so fast; the
pre-cleaning machines have many parts which frequently need replacement; that augers
used for paddy transport are becoming as sharp as razor blades; that elevator discharge
spouts, especially bends in spouts and elevator cups are wearing off so quickly; and that
parts of the husk aspirators in direct contact with the husk are to be repaired or replaced
so often. In rice milling the rough surface of the paddy grain and the smooth surface of
the brown rice play important roles in paddy separation.
Free Space Between the Husk and the Brown rice kernel- when the grains are dried, there
is a distinct space between the rice hull and the kernel inside. With the weak point in the

interlocking fold and the space between the rice hull and grain kernel, a rubber roll huller
or any dehulling machine can dehull the grain with minimum or even without abrasion to
the pericarp and other internal parts of the grain. This allows dehulling to be done with
minimal pressure against the grain thus minimizing breakage and losses.
Tight interlocking fold of the husk- the husk sections consisting of the lemma and the
palea,are tightly seamed together through a beautiful double fold. A force is required to
open these folds in the process of dehusking. Hullers are designed in such a way that
unnecessary breakage of grains is avoided. It is only when the rice is parboiled that
dehusking will practically cause no problems because of the result of the hot water
soaking and steaming process, the two husk sections open without releasing the brown
rice kernel.
The Awn- the awn is sometimes very long in certain varieties, as such a special machine is
required to break off and remove the awns prior to the dehusking of the paddy,
however,awners are expensive and energy consuming.
The Pericarp- when the pericarp is damaged, oxygen penetrates the bran layer, which
leads to an increase of free fatty acid (FFA) content of the oil in the bran. The
unavoidable oxidation makes the bran smell rancid ands results to serious quality
deterioration of the brown rice kernel. It is mainly the abrasive disc huller, which
damages the pericarp. But, this is of no disadvantage if it immediately converted into
milled rice. However, if brown rice is produced for storage or for shipment as cargo rice
to rice- importing countries or to central whitening plants, the use of rubber roll huller is
a must in order to avoid or at least reduce oxidative and enzymatic deterioration of the
bran tissue.
The Longitudinal Starchy Cell- the outermost starch cells of the endosperm are elongated
in shape and positioned with the long side directed towards the center of the grain which
gives the grain the potential to react to thermal stresses resulting to fissures and
ultimately in cracks throughout the grain. The grain can easily break under the impact of
force either when it is threshed, conveyed, cleaned or dehusked. This characteristic of the
grain predisposes the grain to break when a correct drying procedure is not followed. This
aspect has made it extremely difficult to design drying systems that would enhance an
optimum milled rice recovery with minimum breakage.
Other physical properties that are related to physical composition of the grain are:
Angle Repose- paddy forms a complete cone when it is vertically unloaded on a flat
surface. The angle of the sides of this cone-shaped mass of grain with respect to the
horizontal measured after the flow of the grain has completely stopped is the angle of
repose. This angle differs from each type of grain and depends much on the smoothness
of the surface of the grain.
The angle of repose is also directly dependent on the moisture content of the
grain. At a moisture content level of 20%, the angle of repose for paddy will be greater
than for dry-paddy at 14%MC. This property is important in the construction of bulk
storage facilities and in the calculation of the dimensions of intermediate holding bins of
a given capacity.
Angle of Friction- refers to the angle measured from the horizontal at which paddy grain
will start moving downwards over a smooth wooden surface with gravity discharging the
paddy grain. This differs for each type of grain and characteristic of the surface, since it
depends much on the smoothness of the surface. Also, the moisture content of grain has
an impact on the angle of friction. The angle of friction for wet grain is greater compared
to dry grain. This angle of friction is important in the construction of self-unloading
holding bins and bulk storage facilities. In also plays a role in the construction of grain
discharge spouts.
Bulk density- refers to the ratio between weight and volume of grains. It is normally
expressed in kg per hectoliter (HL), lbs. per cu ft or kg/ cu m. The bulk density data are
important in the calculation of the dimension of bulk storage facilities and intermediate
holding bins of given capacity. It also indicates the purity degree of the grains since the
presence of light foreign matter reduces the grain density. At 14% mc the bulk density of
paddy is 576 kg/m3. However, bulk density can be changed depending on the moisture
content, the amount of impurities and the degree of milling.
Grain dimensions the dimensions of the paddy grain and milled rice kernel play an
important role in the determination of grain standards and throughout the processing
cycle. These grain dimensions are classified accordingly in relation to the following:

1. The type of paddy is classified according to the length of the whole brown rice
a. Extra long paddy with 80% of the whole brown rice kernels having a
length of 7.5 mm or more.
b. Long paddy with 80% of whole brown rice kernels having a length
between 6.5 mm or more but shorter than 7.5 mm.
c. Medium paddy having 80% of the whole brown rice kernels with a
length between 5.5 mm to 6.5 mm.
d. Short paddy with 80% of the whole brown rice kernels but shorter than
5.5 mm.
2. The sub-type of paddy. The sub-type of paddy grain refers to the ratio of the
length and width of the whole brown rice kernel.

Length in mm
= ------------------Width in mm

a. Slender paddy with brown rice grain having a length/width ratio of 3.0 or
b. Bold paddy with brown rice grain having a length/width ratio of 2.0 or
but smaller than 3.00.
c. Round paddy with brown rice grain having a length/width ratio smaller
than 2.0.
3. The type of Milled Rice milled rice is classified according to the length of the
whole grain.
a. Extra long milled rice with 80% of the whole milled rice kernel having a
length of 7.0 mm or more.
b. Long milled rice with 80% of the whole milled rice kernels having
length of 6.0 mm or more but shorter than 7.0 mm.
c. Medium milled rice with 80% of the whole milled rice kernels having a
length of 5.0 mm or more but shorter than 6.0 mm.
d. Short milled rice with 80% of the whole milled rice kernels shorter than
5.0 mm.
4. The sub-type of milled rice refers to the length/width ratio of the whole milled
rice grain. The 3 sub-types of milled rice are defined in the same manner as that of
paddy, to wit: slender, bold and round.
5. Brokens in Milled Rice broken is generally based on the rice particle and is
referred to in units 1/8th of the length of the whole unbroken milled rice grain.
These are categorized as:
a. Head Rice milled rice particle with a length of 6/8 or more of the length
of the whole unbroken milled rice kernel.
b. Large Broken is a milled rice particle with a length of 3/8 or more but
shorter than 6/8 of the length of the whole unbroken milled rice kernel.
c. Small Broken is a milled rice particle which will not pass through a
perforated sieve with a round perforation of 1.4 mm but the length of the
grain is shorter than 3/8 of the whole unbroken milled rice kernel.
d. Brewers Rice is a milled rice particle, which will pass through a sieve
with a round perforation of 1.4 mm.

Review questions:
1. Why do we study the anatomy and physical properties of the rice grain?
1. Describe, identify the external and internal parts of the rice grain?
2. How is length of paddy measured?
4. How does silica content in the husk affect the milling process?


Technical reference guide on grains postharvest. 1997. PCARRD Philippine

Recommend Series No. 71 A
Mc Donald, M.B. and L. Copeland 1997. Seed production. Principles and
Practices. Chapman and Hall, New York, N.Y.
Phillipine Rice Production Training Manual. PhilRice2003.
Lecture during the Training Workshop on Rice Seed Production for Seednet
Members and Partners. PhilRice-CES. Sept. 20-22, 2005.


The term quality refers to the superiority in kind of the product or the crop seeds
with good quality. However, the term quality may have different meanings to different
people in the grain industry. For example, for a trader, a good quality grain is dry, insect
free and stores well. For a miller, good grains are those that yield a high percentage of the
finished product; while the consumers are concerned which have good appearance, flavor
and cooking properties. Variation in grain quality depends on the variety used and
influenced by the environmental factors and post harvest techniques. Generally, the
condition of grains at harvest, quality cannot be improved during storage and processing.
Grain deterioration refers to the lowering of quality or value of the commodity,
which is being affected by quantity factors and quality factors. Quantity factors is
influence by elements, which reduce quantity whereas impurity, moisture content beyond
the standard moisture content, empty grain, cracked kernel, chalky grain and red rice are
examples of quality factors.
After completion of this topic, you should be able to:

Identify and explain the factors that induce quality deterioration

Describe the manifestations of quality deterioration in rice at the different stages

of postharvest operation

Identify and apply the methods of preventing deterioration on rice



Journals and Technical bulletins

Factors affecting grain quality deterioration

1. High moisture content- is one of the most important factors that lead to quality
deterioration of grain. Excess moisture content in the grain will germinate since
the grain is a living organism. Wet grains in the field or in bags, continue to
respire and emit heat inside the grain mass. The heat or hot spot created plus the
high moisture content can lead to mold growth, fermentation, yellowing and
eventually damaged grains. Microorganisms multiply rapidly while insects and
mites can be most active when equilibrium relative humidity inside the grain mass
is about 60-80%.
2. Temperature- greatly affects grain deterioration. The temperature range
favorable to mold growth of microorganisms is wide, extending from below 0 oC
to over 60 oC for heat resistant bacteria. Most paddy insects are able to complete
their life cycle at temperature ranging from 15-45oC. The presence of insects in
the grain mass through their respiration also contributes to the heat build up
which deleterious to grain quality.
3. Microorganisms and insects insects causes indentations and deformations of
the kernels aside form lessening weight and volume of the grain. These
deformations are weak spots in the kernel structure, which cause it to easily
crumble, break and be crushed during milling. Insects also leave dark marks on
milled rice affecting the whiteness of the product. High moisture content and high
temperature aggravate deterioration due to mold growth and other
microorganisms. Invasion by moulds and microorganisms actually occur under
storage conditions of high humidity (70-75%) and high moisture content (2530%). The effect of these on the grains are 1) discoloration and loss of luster; 2)
bad odor and off-flavor that make the grain unacceptable either as animal feed or
food for human consumption; 3) production of highly toxic substances called
mycotoxins that poison animal and livestock and cause health hazards to humans.
4. Impurities refers to all matters other the crop seeds such as stones, sand, chaff,
straw and other grains like weed seeds. Impurities like large stones and hard
objects lower the value of milled rice and also damage milling machines. Chaff
and straw and other organic materials included in the grain mass rot rapidly and
induce growth of microorganisms (molds) leading to mycotoxin contamination of
grains. Grain mass of high percentage impurities also causes uneven drying or
uneven distribution of moisture content. Deterioration of the wet grain is faster
than the transfer of moisture from the wet to the dry grain. Empty grains/unfilled
grains are also considered as impurities.
5. Immature grains immature grains are difficult to separate from other
impurities and empty grains. Immature grains are mostly green and chalky with
soft textures. Holding more moisture than the matured/sound grains, they also
create an uneven distribution of moisture content during the drying operation.
Because of the soft texture of immature grains, insects and microorganisms that
could infest the whole grain stock easily attack them. Immature grains when
milled are easily pulverized and mixed with milled rice affecting market quality.
Immature grains are usually brittle yielding lower head and milled rice recoveries.
6. Thermal stress the removal of moisture in the grain must not be too slow to
allow microorganisms to grow and spoil paddy nor too rapid to cause the grain to
crack or break. The uneven and contraction of the inner and outer layer of the
grain cause fissuring that may break the kernels which may lead to high
percentage of brokens resulting to low milling yield. Likewise, when dried or
heated grains are rewetted (as in sundrying) the thermal stress produced causes
fractured kernels. Insect damaged, chalky kernels, water damaged and
mechanically damaged grains easily fissure during the expansion and contraction

7. Mechanical stress improper handling and processing of the grains also lead to
quality deterioration. The traditional method of threshing grains like the impact
method or hampasan subjects the grains to high mechanical stress. With this
method, kernels break due to the pressure of the impact. Sundried paddy that is
run over by vehicles are crushed or fractured.
8. Others milling of different varieties of palay, which vary in sizes, and shapes of
kernels could result to poor quality milled rice. Varied grain sizes and forms
increase the number of paddy (unmilled rice) in the milled rice because the
adjustments of the rice mill are usually uniform. Mixed red kernels require high
degree of milling to remove the red pericarp. When mixed with other grains, the
whiteness of the milled rice is affected.
2.2. Prevention of Grain Quality Deterioration
1. Proper knowledge and understanding of the factors that induce deterioration
2. In the production stage, paddy to be planted must be homogenous in variety.
Regular weeding must be done to eliminate weed seeds and other crop seeds
from paddy to be harvested.
3. Timely harvest is critical to prevent immature, chalky and empty grains.
Harvest grains when the hulled grains on the upper portion of the panicle are
clear and firm and most of the grains at the base of the panicle are in hard
dough stage.
4. Field drying should be practiced moderately during the dry season only.
During the wet season the harvested paddy should be stacked in small piles to
allow aeration of grains. Avoid large piles to get away from heat build-up and
attack of microorganisms. If possible, paddy in piles should be threshed
5. Use of axial flow threshers incurred less mechanical damage as compared to
the traditional hampasan
6. The thresher must have good and efficient cleaning devices to remove both
large and small impurities. The blower must be adjusted to its optimum to
separate grains with certain degree of immaturity.
7. Newly threshed paddy should be dried immediately either by mechanical
dryer or sun drying. If sundrying is used avoid the intense of heart of the sun
at noontime to prevent sun cracking on the grains. The optimum moisture
content of the paddy should range from 13-14% but if the paddy is intended to
be stored for six or more months, it should be dried to 13% or lower.
8. Sanitation and proper hygiene inside the warehouse or storage will
prevent pest infestation and contamination of microorganisms. Cooling the
grain (by aeration) to 17oC or below provides and effective means of
controlling insect infestation.
9. Dont practice prolonged storage. The texture, color, odor, flavour and
nutritive value of grains could change due to moisture and temperature that
will make the grains less palatable or less acceptable to the consumer.
10. From storage to market, care must be taken such that impurities (dirt,
soil, and others) do not get mixed with milled rice. Milled rice must not be
stored in damp places where re-entry of moisture in the grain could occur.

2.3. Grain quality in the postharvest system

Different kinds and manifestations of quality deterioration in rice at different stages
of post harvest handling chain from harvest to market.
Post Harvest Operations

Quality Deterioration Indicators


Immature grains/chalky kernels

Weed seed and other crop seeds

Field drying

Cracked kernels
Water-damaged grains
Germinated grains

Field stacking/Piling

Cracked kernels
Water-damaged kernels
Germinated grains
Discolored grains
Moldy grains
Insect-damaged grains


Cracked kernels

Temporary wet storage

Discolored grains
Insect-damaged grains
Moldy grains
Water-damaged grains
Germinated grains


Cracked kernels

Storage of paddy

Discolored grains
Moldy grains
Chemical residue


Broken rice
Paddy in milled rice
Red kernels
Milling degree

Storage of milled rice

Yellow kernels
Insect-damaged grains
Moldy grains


Insect damaged-grains
Moldy grains

Review questions:

1. Differentiate grain quality and grain deterioration.
2. How do you describe grains of good quality?
3. What are the factors that induce grain quality deterioration?
4. What is the effect of temperature on the quality of grains in storage? Explain.
5. What are immature grains? What is the effect of immature grains on the quality of
rice once milled?
6. Why is timely harvest critical in ensuring good quality grains?

Technical reference guide on grains postharvest. 1997. PCARRD Philippine

Recommend Series No. 71 A
Mc Donald, M.B. and L. Copeland 1997. Seed production. Principles and
Practices. Chapman and Hall, New York, N.Y.
Phillipine Rice Production Training Manual. PhilRice2003.
Lecture during the Training Workshop on Rice Seed Production for Seednet
Members and Partners. PhilRice-CES. Sept. 20-22, 2005.


Moisture content determination, grain drying principles and system, rice milling
principles and storage principles and system. These activities must be well understood in
order to minimize postproduction losses. There is a relationship between the method of
handling and the degree of loss. Too much paddy handling creates problems both in
quality and quantity. Harvesting and threshing must be well understood to minimize post
production losses. Postharvest engineering compose of the activities such as harvesting
and threshing, moisture and moisture content determination, grain drying, riice milling
and storage.
Drying is a vital postharvest operation. Drying is the removal of moisture until the
moisture content of the product is in equilibrium with the surrounding air, usually 1214% in grains safe for storage. Properly dried paddy would give higher economic return
on the part of the producers and processors because of increased storage life of the grains,
prevention of deterioration in quality, reduction of biological respiration that leads to
quality loss of grains and optimum milling yields.
After completion of this topic, you should be able to:

Know the significance of harvesting and threshing

Define harvesting and threshing

Identify the indices for optimum harvest to minimize losses

Familiar with the harvesting and threshing methods

Name recommendations for harvesting and threshing operations



Journals and Technical bulletins

Harvesting and Threshing

Harvesting refers to all operations carried out in the field, which include cutting
the rice stalk (reaping), laying out the paddy on the stubble to dry, bundling, stacking and
Threshing refers to the process of detaching or separating rice grains from the
panicle by stripping, rubbing, striking with a flail or by the use of a threshing machine.

A. Indices for Optimum Harvest

1. The moisture content of the paddy grain is the best index for determining the
optimum time of harvest, irrespective of varieties and dates of heading. As a rule of
thumb, the optimum moisture content for harvest is about 20-24% (wet basis) for
maximum recovery and outturn of head rice.
2. Know the varietal characteristics of the plant particularly the date of maturity or
number of days after heading (28-36 days). The generally accepted index of rice
maturity is when the hulled kernels on the upper portion of the panicles are clear,
translucent and firm or when 80% or more of the grain on the panicle are fully
ripened, yellowish or straw colored and most of the grains at the base are in the
hard dough stage. Shattering losses can be expected if harvesting is not done at the
proper time.
3. Approximately 7-10 days before the expected harvest date or when the upper grains
in most of the tillers are in the hard dough stage turning from green to yellow, the
field should be drained to hasten and attain uniform maturity.
B. Method of harvesting and in-field handling
1. Cutting the stem is determined by the method of threshing. If a pedal thresher or
hampasan is to be used the plant should be cut close to the ground. If the plant is
to be threshed by foot, the stem should be cut close to the panicle. The straw
should be 40-50 cm long when mechanical threshing is to be employed.
2. When stacking is necessary, use smaller stacks for better aeration and prevent
yellowing of grain. If possible grain should be threshed and dried immediately
after harvesting.
3. To minimize transport and stacking losses, use sacks, mats, plastics or canvass as
4. To minimize standing crop loss, laborers should be trained.
5. When the crop is badly lodged, harvesting must be done manually.
6. Timely harvesting should be practiced to minimize shattering. Most high yielding
varieties of rice start to shatter when moisture content of the standing crop falls
below 20%. However, shattering losses are not confined to HYVs.
7. For wet harvest, immediately thresh and dry them to prevent grain yellowing
while the harvested paddy is still in the field.
1. Panicle harvesting- accomplished by using a manual slicing tool called yatab or
Ani-ani. This method is advantageous to rice fields that are inaccessible and the
paddy must be hand-carried for miles along small fields. The short stem panicle
paddy is much lighter than the long stem paddy.
2. Sickle harvesting- the hand sickle is probably the most common paddy-harvesting
tool. The usual method of hand sickle reaping is to cut the paddy stalk 10-15 cm
above ground level and then lay the stalk in small bunches on the stubble. Hand
sickle reaping efficiency depends on the various cultural practices, the density and
variety of the paddy plants, the degree of lodging, the soil condition and the skill
of the reaper. The average skilled person can harvest standing paddy at a rate of
about 40-50 kg of stalk paddy per hour. Lodged paddy requires more labor and
may reduce the cutting rate by 50%.
3. Mechanical harvesting- is by the use of a small combine, which started in Japan.
This self-propelled combine has a cutting width of 50 to 150 cm and can reap and
thresh paddy at about 0.05 ha/hour.
Threshing is one of the vital stages of the postproduction process. Timing,
availability of threshing facility and efficiency greatly affect the quality and quantity of
the grains produced. The condition of the grain before threshing also determines the
extend of damage during the actual threshing operation.

Threshing involves the detachment of paddy kernels from the panicle and can be
achieved by: 1) rubbing action; 2) impact; and 3) stripping. The rubbing action occurs
when trampling or treading by men, animals or tractors threshes paddy. Impact method of
threshing is the most popular method of threshing paddy. Most mechanical threshers
primarily utilize the impact principle for threshing although some stripping action is also
involved. Stripping method is still in the developmental stage and has the potential of
eliminating straw handling from the harvesting operations.
1. Treading- this method involves spreading the stalk paddy rice on a hard surface or
mat and applying a combination of impact friction force to the rice panicles by
trampling until kernels are loosened and detached from the panicles.
2. Flailing and pounding- this process consists of repeatedly beating a small bundle
of stalk paddy or panicle with a piece of wood until separation is completed. A
similar method of flail threshing is hand beating the bundles of stalk paddy
against a bamboo rack or big wooden tub. This method is called hampasan and
it is widely used in the country.
3. Pedal threshing- this process is accomplished by the impact of forces of the
rotating drum teeth, wherein one or more persons are needed to keep the drum
4. Animal threshing- this is carried out through trampling by animal feet or by
equipment (disk harrows, rollers, or tree branches) dragged behind the animals.
5. Mechanical threshing-this method uses mechanical threshers that have engine as
power source. Some drum threshers are very similar to the foot pedal thresehrs
except that engine replaces the foot. Mechanically powered paddy threshers may
be equipped with one of the following type of cylinder and adjacent concave
arrangements: 1)rasp bar with concave b) spike tooth with concave; and 3)wire
loop with concave and wire loop without concave.
1. Hold-on method- is more common, particularly with the single drum threshers.
The paddy is cut with a long stalk and threshing is accomplished by holding the
stalk paddy against the drum teeth. The machine strips the panicle without
appreciably damaging the straw or the grain. The undamaged straw may then be
used for other purposes.
2. Throw-in method- is preferable with the short stalk paddy because they are fed
into the machine. More power is needed when the straw is processed through the
thresher. Generally, the through-type machine is equipped with a separating and
cleaning mechanism.
Grain cleaning- is basically a function of air velocity, which is used to separate particles
by weight, density, and wind resistance.
1. Know the varietal characteristics of the plant
2. Approximately 7-10 days before the expected date or when the upper
grains in most tillers are in the hard dough stage turning green to yellow,
the field should be drained;
- to attain uniform maturity/ripening
- prevent wetting of grain during harvesting
- easy operation in the field
3. Harvesting is done when at least 80% of the grains or the upper portion of
the panicle are golden and those at the base are in the hard dough stage
4. The grain moisture content (MC) should be between 20-24% MC wet
5. Use smaller piles for better aeration

1. Grains should be immediately threshed and dried to prevent yellowing
2. Use mats, sacks, as underlays to minimize losses
3. The use of mechanical threshers is commonly recommended to minimize
Review questions:

1. What is the significance of knowing the mechanisms of harvesting and

2. What are the indices for optimum harvest
3. What are the methods of harvesting?
4. What are the methods of threshing?
5. Contrast the feeding methods of mechanical threshers?


Technical reference guide on grains postharvest. 1997. PCARRD Philippine

Recommend Series No. 71 A
Mc Donald, M.B. and L. Copeland 1997. Seed production. Principles and
Practices. Chapman and Hall, New York, N.Y.
Phillipine Rice Production Training Manual. PhilRice2003.
Lecture during the Training Workshop on Rice Seed Production for Seednet
Members and Partners. PhilRice-CES. Sept. 20-22, 2005.

After completion of this topic, you should be able to:

Identify and explain the factors that induce quality deterioration

Describe the manifestations of quality deterioration in rice at the different stages

of postharvest operation

Identify and apply the methods of preventing deterioration on rice



Journals and Technical bulletins


Martina F. Tinguil
Moisture, either in the air or in the grain is one of the factors that greatly influence
the quality of grains. It also serves as an index whether the crop is ready to be harvested,
stored, and milled with maximum recovery. It is therefore important to understand
common methods of representing moisture content and its determination.
Moisture content determination- is essential to know its keeping quality. Experienced
buyers and traders commonly determine moisture content of paddy by simply checking
the hardness of the kernel between their teeth. However, there are methods of
determining the moisture content safe for storage and milling. Procedures for determining
the moisture content of a product can be classified as follows:
1. Primary or direct method-involves the actual removal of moisture from the sample
using precise laboratory equipment. The moisture contents are expressed either on a
wet basis or on a dry basis.
1. Oven method-air oven method or water oven method may be used for direct
determination of moisture content but the air oven method is commonly used for
Air Oven Method. 130 oC+ 1 oC
a. One stage oven drying- used for grains under 14%MC.
b. Two-stage oven drying used of high moisture grains usually above 14% MC.
2. Brown Duvel moisture tester (accepted as official)-moisture is removed from
the sample by means of distillation using mineral oil having higher boiling point
than the distilling temperature. The moisture extracted from the samples is
condensed and measured. This method offers some advantages over grinding
procedures since the latter may cause heating of materials, which lead to small
loss of moisture and small fines due to handling. However, the use of distillation
procedure may also give variable results depending on altitude resulting in the
boiling point of the liquid to vary due to difference in atmospheric pressure.
3. Infrared lamp moisture content is measured directly by the evaporation of water
from the grain sample by heating with an infrared lamp. Moisture meter
employing infra-red lamp is available commercially. The range of moisture
content that can be read is from 0 to 100%.
2. Secondary or Indirect methods- involves the measurement of some properties
related to the moisture in the grains. The moisture content is expressed on a wet basis,
much quicker but less accurate. The instrument has to be calibrated against a primary
method. There are a lot of commercially available meters whose accuracy vary from
0.5-1%. Most of the characteristics of these meters are the a) portable, robust,
unaffected by dust and humidity b) convenient to use for bag and bulk grain c) cheap
and reliable d) simple to operate e) rapid read out and f) unaffected by temperature.
a. Electrical resistance method- this type of meters measures electrical resistance
of the material whose read out are calibrated against oven determination.
Electrical resistance varies with the distribution of moisture within the sample,
density or compactness or even the characteristics of the device, which
changes with time, hence, exact readings may not be expected.


Compression cell type- needs ground samples and resistance measures

on scale calibrated in percent moisture content. Correction is needed to
account temperature.
2. Probe type- applicable to bag or in bulk stocks. Resistance is measured
using probes and can therefore facilitate rapid sampling of large number
of bags. Other characteristics of probe type meters:
1. pressure and temperature corrections needed
2. capability to detect wet spots in the stock
3. surface wet samples may yield inaccurate results
4. less accurate than compression type
5. average of larger number of readings are more representative than
smaller number of more accurate determinations
b. Capacitance method- when a material is placed between plates of an electrical
condenser its capacitance varies with moisture content of the material.
Characteristics of the capacitance meters are:
1. uniform packing of material being tested should be assured
2. walls of product container (cell0 serve as plates of condenser
3. cell forms one area of bridge circuit
4. conductivity of unground samples is measured
5. surface wet samples give incorrect readings
6. temperature correction is needed
c. chemical method- water from a grain sample can be removed by adding a
chemical which decomposes and combines with water. When calcium carbide
is mixed with the grain sample, the moisture in the grain reacts with the
chemical resulting in the production of acetylene gas.
CaC2 + 2H2O Ca (OH) 2 + C2H2
The volume of gas produced is proportional to the moisture in the grain.
d. Relative humidity method- the air in the inter-granular space in the grain mass
reaches a state of equilibrium with the moisture content of the grain. Hence,
when stable conditions are established it is feasible to measure the relative
humidity and express the result as a moisture content.
Moisture Content Representation
1. Wet basis- commonly used in the rice industry
2. Dry basis-used in scientific literature
Wet basis (wb)- represented as a percentage of total weight
% MCwb = Wm x 100
%MC wb = Wm
x 100
Wm + Wdm
wb= wet basis
wm= weight of moisture present in the grain
wt= total weight of the grain consisting of weight of moisture (wm) plus the
weight of dry matter (dm).
In expressing moisture content in wet basis, one cannot simply say that 10 kg water is to
be removed from 100 kg. Wet paddy to bring down its moisture content from 24% and
dry it to 14%. This is because the denominator of the equation (wt) changes with respect
to the amount of moisture removed. considering the same example at 24% MC the dry
matter content is 76 kg (100-24). Now, calculating the amount of moisture to be removed
if the same paddy is dried to 14%MC yields:
0.14 = Wm
Wm + 76
Wm = 12.37 kgs. water
Therefore the amount of moisture to be removed from 100 kg wet grain to dry it from
24% to 14% MC will be 11.63 kgs. (24 - 12.37).

Dry basis (db)- use by researchers expressed as a percentage of the dry matter or bonedry weight of the sample.
% MCdb = Wm x 100
Conversion of dry basis to wet basis or vice versa
Wet basis to dry basis
% MCdb = MC wb
x 100
1-MC wb
Dry basis to wet basis
% MC wb = MC db x 100
1+ MC db
Conversion Table of Moisture Content Wet Basis to Dry Basis
(wet basis)

(dry basis)

(wet basis)

(dry basis)





Moisture Loss Equation

The amount of moisture loss during drying can be computed using the following
(100- MC initial)
Wt final = Wt. initial x (100-MC final)
Moisture loss = Wt. initial Wt. final
Where: Wt. final final weight in kg
Wt. initial- initial weight in kg
MC. initial = initial moisture content, wet basis
MC final = final moisture content, wet basis
A. Compute final weight
Wt. final = Wt. initial x (100-MC initial)
(100-MC final)
= 1,000 x (100-25)
= 872 kg

B. Compute moisture loss

Moisture loss = Wt. initial Wt. final
= 1,000 872
= 128 kg
Grains are hygroscopic in nature. They become wet or dry depending on the
temperature and relative humidity of the surrounding air. Grains lose moisture when the
vapor pressure of the air is less than the vapor pressure in the grain and gain moisture
when the vapor pressure in the grain is less than that of the surrounding air.
Grains are said to be in equilibrium moisture content if the rate of evaporation is
equal to the rate of recondensation, hence, there is no exchange of moisture from the
grain to the surrounding air.
Factors affecting moisture migration:
1. Variations in ambient temperatures cause moisture migration within the grain
mass, hence, spoilage may occur in high moisture areas. Due to seasonal changes
such as when the grain is warm and the ambient temperature is low; it is most
likely that the air will have higher density. This dense air flows downwards along
the wall and moves upward near the center. The relative humidity of the air
increases. And excess moisture may condense on the grain at the cooler surface.
Condensing water increases the moisture content on top center of the grain mass.
Spoilage may occur if no corrective measures are taken. At warm ambient
conditions and where the grain is cool, the air near the bin wall rises since it
decreases in density. The air in the center then moves downward, hence, moisture
condenses at the bottom of the grain mass. The same is also thought to happen
when the day-night temperatures vary greatly.
2. Moisture gradient within the grain mass (moisture difference) may cause moisture
from higher moisture content areas to lower moisture content.
Safe storage time depends on temperature, initial moisture content and condition
of the grain. Normally cool storage temperatures increase safe storage time. Moisture
content for safe storage is usually the moisture content of the product in equilibrium with
70% relative humidity at given temperature as seen below:
Equilibrium MC at 70% RH
groundnuts (shelled)
Recommended Level of Moisture for Storage


MC (% wb)

Martina F. Tinguil
Grain Drying refers to the removal of water /moisture content of the grains or seeds
(usually 12-14 percent in grains) is in equilibrium with the surrounding air for safe
storage. Rice is normally harvested at a moisture content of 20% or more. If the moisture
content is not reduced to below 14% shortly after threshing, grain quality deteriorates
because of microbial activities and insect damage. According to Huey (1977) drying
should begin within 12 hours but not later than 24 hours after harvesting.
Importance of drying
1. Drying increases storage life of the grains without quality deterioration.
2. Drying permits better quality of the product.
3. Drying improves market value by preserving grain quality.
4. Drying reduces the specific volume of grain.
5. Attain optimum milling yields and head rice recoveries
Principles of drying involve the following steps:
1. Heating the grain to allow internal moisture to migrate to the outer surface when air
movement could evaporate it.
2. Evaporation of the surface moisture by the passage of air over the wet grain surface
3. Tempering the hot grain to allow the heat within the kernel to normalize or be in
equilibrium throughout the entire grain.
4. Cooling the grain prior to storage to prevent hot spots from developing within the
stored grain, which may cause grain damage.
Theory of grain drying
The grain is a living, respiring biological product. The respiration process in the
grain is externally manifested by decreases in dry weight, utilization of oxygen, evolution
of carbon dioxide and moisture and release of energy in the form of heat. The respiration
rate is influenced by the degree of dehydration of the tissue. Thus drying is a means of
preserving or suppressing the biological deterioration of the paddy. At low moisture
content (13-14%), the grain is relatively dormant and can be stored for long periods under
proper conditions.
The removal of excess moisture from grain is known as drying. Complete or near
complete removal of moisture is termed as dehydration. Drying is referred to as a process
of simultaneous heat and moisture transfer. The heat is required to evaporate the
moisture, which is removed from the drying grain surface by the external drying medium
usually atmospheric air.
Crop grains are hygroscopic in nature, which means that they become wet or dry
depending on the temperature and relative humidity the surrounding air. If the vapor
pressure of the moisture within the grain is higher than that of the moisture in the
atmosphere, the grain will lose its moisture to the surrounding air. In effect, the grain
undergoes a drying process. On the other hand, if the grain is dry and the surrounding
atmosphere is wet or humid, the reverse process will occur and the grain will gain or
absorb moisture.
When the vapor pressure of the water held by the grain is equal to the vapor pressure
of the surrounding air, no moisture transfer occurs and there exists moisture equilibrium
between the grain and air, At this condition, moisture content of the grain is the
equilibrium moisture content (EMC) and the relative humidity of the air is the
equilibrium relative humidity (ERH). EMC determines the minimum level of moisture to
which grains can be dried under a given set of drying conditions. Drying of grain will
occur provided a higher vapor pressure exists in the grain than in the air.
This is represented in the following equation:
If Vpa <Vpg ____ Desorption(drying)

Vpa >Vpg

_____Adsorption (rewetting)

Vpa =Vpg ______equilibrium MC (EMC)

Where Vpa = vapor pressure of air
Vpg = vapor pressure of grain
Techniques of increasing the vapor pressure gradient
1. Increasing the grain vapor pressure by heating (methods of heat transfer
a. Solar heating or radiation- the grains are directly exposed to solar radiation
that heats the grain kernels and increase the vapor pressure of the grain
b. Infrared heating or microwave- grain kernels are heated directly by infrared
source, which increases the vapor pressure of the grain.
c. Conduction heating- grain kernels are heated by a surface directly in contact
with it. The hot surface, usually made of metal plates, is heated by burning
fuel on the other side of the plate. The heat is transferred by conduction and
the heating of grains increases the vapor pressure of the grain.
d. Convection- heat transfer by convection occurs when heat moves from one
place to another by means of currents that are set up within same fluid
medium. These currents are known as convection currents and result from the
change in density that is brought about by the expansion of the heated portion
of the fluid. When any portion is heated, it expands, and its volume per unit of
mass increases. Thus the heated portion becomes lighter rises to the top and is
immediately replaced by a cooler, heavier portion of the fluid.
2. Lowering/decreasing the vapor pressure in the air relative to saturation
a. Heating the air-the air is either directly or indirectly heated by the heat source
(combustion of fuels, electric heaters, collected solar energy, hot water
heater). The heating of the air increases its temperature and decreases its
relative humidity.
b. Desiccating the air- the air is made to pass through air adsorbent material, like
silica gel, which absorbs the moisture ion the air. The dessicated air has a low
relative humidity (low vapor pressure relative to saturation) with a slightly
increased temperature.
c. Refrigerating the air- the air is made to pass through an evaporator of a
refrigeration system during which air temperature is reduced and moisture in
the air is condensed. This low temperature, low absolute humidity air has a
high relative humidity. As this refrigerated air is made to pass through the
condensing unit of the same refrigeration system, its relative humidity
Methods of heating the drying air
1. Direct method- the product of fuel combustion are mixed with drying air and then
forced through the grain mass. This method ensures the efficient use of fuel energy,
however, grains sometimes suffer from smoke causing off-flavor of milled rice
especially when burning of fuel is incomplete.
2. Indirect method- a heat exchange that normally made of high thermal conductivity
material such as metal is a part of the heater unit. The drying is circulated around the
outside surface of the heat exchanger and through the grain mass. Products of
combustion such as smoke and fly ash are not permitted to mix with the drying air.
This method has a lower heating efficiency than the direct method.
Types of burners:
1. Gas burner- works on the principle that part or all of the air for combustion must mix
with the gas before ignition. An example is the atmospheric burner type like the
Bunsen burner. This is very convenient to use and complete combustion is easily
attainable but the operating cost is high.
2. Oil burner3. Kerosene pot burner
4. Solid fuel burner

Blowing the heated air by fans and blowers:

1. Axial flow fans
2. Centrifugal fans
GRAIN DRYING SYSTEMS- the commercial grain dryers commonly used in
Southeast Asia are the forced convection types that work on this principle: hot air is
passed through the moist grain and in the process heats the grain causing the vapor
pressure to increase. This results in moisture evaporation. The same air is then used to
remove the evaporated moisture from the system.
1. Batch type (Shallow bed) dryers- in this type of dryer, paddy is placed in a holding
bin which is either a horizontal or circular type and hot air is forced through the
stationary grain mass until the desired moisture content level is reached. The
horizontal flat bed type bin which is filled up with grain to a depth of 18 inches, has a
holding capacity of 2 tons wet grain.. Drying air temperature not exceeding 43oC to
maintain the quality of the grain.
2. Deep bed Batch dryers- grain layer thickness of 8-10 feet
3. Continuous flow dryers- drying capacity ranges from 1-5 tons per hour which use in
grain processing centers.
a. non-mixing type
b. mixing type
Grain drying techniques
1. Natural drying/ sun drying-most common method of drying seeds. Sundrying is
done by spreading the grains on concrete floors, straw mats or plastic nets.
1. more economical
2. good quality milled rice if done properly
1. longer period of drying (2-3 days)
2. unreliable during rainy season
3. stones and other impurities mix with the grain
4. more losses due to birds, chicken and hogs
5. large volume require big drying spaces uneven drying causes breakage in the
grain due to excessive drying producing less recovery in the milled rice
2.Mechanical drying- the use of mechanical dryers
1. dry the wettest grain
2. dry grains regardless of weather conditions
3. drying operation can be controlled
4. farmers can plan the harvest season for more efficient use of available labor
Disadvantages/constraints on the use mechanical dryers:
1. require high investment and operating cost
2. uneconomical due to small landholdings
3. lack of technical know-how
Commercially available dryers
1. mobile flash dryer
2. flat bed batch type dryer
3. continuous flow dryer
4. recirculating type dryer
For seeds
For milling
For flash drying


43 and below
54 and below
100 and below

Storage refers to the process of keeping the grains whether in bags, or in bulk, in a
storage structure designed to protect the stored product from inclement weather and pests
for a short or long period of time to await processing or movement to other location.
1. Uniform supply of food through out the year
2. To provide a reserve for contingencies
3. To speculate a good price
Good storage management leads to insignificant storage losses and minimal deterioration
of quality, giving profits and enabling quick repay of capital invested in grain storage
installation and the amount of grains available as food supplies will be larger and of
better quality.
Principles of storage
A grain is living organism that breaths, requires nourishment, grows and dies. The
grain embryo is sensitive to temperature and humidity. If temperature and humidity could
be kept low (15oC below 70% at 14-15 % MC of grain) the embryo remains viable but
inactive. Under this condition grain can be stored for long periods. However, if the
temperature and humidity increases, the viable embryo becomes active draws
nourishment from the endosperm particularly starches and proteins. Heat and moisture
are produced in the process as soon as the grain begins to warm up. This further
stimulates the activity of the embryo and a chain reaction is formed. Molds,
microorganisms and insects that are frequently present on the grain kernels, become more
active and produce more heat and moisture. Eventually a part of the grain mass may
develop a temperature as high as 57oC at which time visible deterioration and rotting
begin. Good storage must be therefore an environment in which the grin will remain
viable but inactive. The storage must be always kept cool and dry.
Basic requirements for safe storage of grain
a. a healthy , clean, and uniformly dried grain
b. a structure that will maintain a suitable environment that will prevent insect and
animal pests.
Spoilage still occurs in grains with moisture content of about 14% because of moisture
migration inside the storage area. Temperature of the storage structure, which is usually
warm and the cool temperature outside can induce free air movement inside the storage
structure. The air inside the storage structure rises as it gets heated due to the heat of
grain respiration that is not dissipated. Upon reaching the cold top roof and sidewalls of
the storage structure, the water vapor in the air condenses into liquid. It then wets the
grains located at the top and at the walls. The wet grains become susceptible to mold and
bacterial growth, hence spoilage occurs.
Storage practices
1. On-farm storage- good for family consumption and for accumulation of palay to be
collected by the buyer.
a. container type facilities (Bag storage system)- use of jute or synthetic sacks,
metal or wooden boxes, bamboo baskets, cans and drums
b. granary type facilities (Bulk storage system)- include wooden or bamboo
structures, sheet metal granaries or small concrete warehouses. Good for
larger quantities stored in bulk.
Advantages and disadvantages of sack and bulk storage:
Flexibility of storage
Non-flexibility of storage
Partly mechanizable
Slow handling
Rapid handling
Considerable spillage
Little spillage

Low capital cost

High capital cost

High operating cost

Low operating cost
High rodent loss potential and
Low rodent loss & losses due to other factor
loss due to other factors (birds,etc.)
difficulty in storage management
Easier storage management
2. Off-farm storage- facilities depend on the storage requirement and economics of
construction and operation.
a. Village level- community cooperatives and traders. Few tons capacity
b. Commercial level- few hundred to few thousand tons capacity
c. Centralized storage- few thousand tons or more
Requirements of Storage Structures
The basic requirements for storage structures to prevent quality deterioration and to
minimize wastage and losses are the following:
1. Water tightness to prevent water from reaching the grain
2. Air tightness to prevent the absorption of water vapor from high temperature and high
humidity atmospheric air
3. An alternative to an airtight storage bin is to circulate cool air (15 oC) around the grain
to prevent moisture accumulation and quality deterioration
4. Drying facilities may be necessary in conjunction with the storage facilities to assure
that food grains are in the range of 12 to 14 % MC prior to storing.
5. Rodents and bird proof and
6. Facilities for air circulation for removal of possible hot spots in structures
Specifications of storage/warehouse structures:
1. Strong to withstand natural calamities earthquakes, typhoons, etc)
2. Well ventilated under normal conditions. It should be provided with air vents or
windows for continuous flow of air inside the warehouse.
3. Maximum allowable safe height of the pile must be properly determined so that sacks
at the bottom of the pile are not destroyed during storage period. Eighteen to 25 sacks
of palay can be adequately supported by bottom bags without damage for at least 6
months or more in a warehouse with an allowable height range of 5-6 meters.
4. Flooring should be adequately strong. It should be free from cracks where moisture
from the ground may affect the stored grains. Floor cracks must be filled with
moisture sealing compound or asphalt. For loading and unloading purposes, the
flooring must be able to support maximum wheel load. An example of ideal flooring
is a reinforced concrete flooring with a thickness of 6 inches resting on selected
gravel or adove.
5. The warehouse structure must be kept free of insects and rodents. A inch mesh wire
must be placed on all opening or events and in the space between the roof and vents.
Estimating warehouse capacity
Stacking density- the number of bags that can be stored in a one cubic meter of space
Rice- 15 bags /cu. Meter
Palay- 10 bags/cu. Meter
Corn- 12 bags/cu. Meter
Height of sack in pile- 0.225 m
This can be used to estimate warehouse capacity
Answer the problems:
1. A pile of rice is 8 m long, 6 m wide and 3.6 m high. Estimate the number of bags in the

2. 5000 bags of palay is to be piled 20 bags high. How may square meters of floor space
is required?
3. A warehouse is 24 m long and 16 m high. Estimate the capacity of the warehouse for
storage corn. Allow 1 m of space between pile and the walls. The maximum number of
bags per pile is 20 bags.

Factors causing changes to the grain storage:

1. Physical factors- consist of variation and fluctuation of temperature and humidity
2. Chemical- mainly on MC and O2 concentration
3. Physiological- due to physical and chemical action, then in respiration and heating
4. Biological factors- due to insects, rodents and micro-organisms
Measures to prevent pest infestation:
1. Sanitation- systematic arrangement of stocks, ample space for movement, strict
implementation of rules and regulations, regular inspection of stocks, and ample
cleaning tools and materials
2. Legislation- strictly enforcing quarantine law
3. Disinfection- spraying, dusting, fogging, fumigation

Rice milling refers to the process wherein rough rice is transformed into a form suitable
for human consumption. Rice milling has to be done with utmost care to prevent
breakage of the kernel and improve the recovery of the paddy.
Milling is one of the important components of the rice post harvest system since it
can either aggravate or enhance the food and feed supply conditions. Generally, milling is
the transformation of a product into a form suitable for either human or livestock
consumption. Care must be done to prevent breakage of the kernels and improve the
milling recovery of paddy.
Rice milling losses may be qualitative and quantitative in nature. Quantitative or
physical losses are manifested by low milling recovery while low head rice recovery or
high percentage of brokens reflects the qualitative loss in rice grains. The losses in
milling could be attributed to improper machine adjustment and selection, improper
arrangement and combination of machine components, lack of proper training of mill
operators, maintenance and other machine factors which the mill owners can possibly
control. Losses could also be attributed to the inherent quality of paddy which the mill
owner may have no control.

Rice milling principles and methods

The operations involved and the corresponding equipment used and by-product
obtained in the conversion of paddy to milled rice are as follows:





and Pre-cleaner and destoner


Foreign material such as

straw, chaff, weed seeds,
stones, metal sands
Paddy grading
Thickness or length grader
Paddy of different length or
or Under-runner stone disc or Husk
rubber roll
Coarse bran or germs
Husk aspiration
Husk aspirator
Separation of paddy Paddy separator
Return paddy
and brown rice
Brown rice grading
Thickness or length grader
Immature kernels or brown
rice of different length or
of Conditioning tank
brown rice(exposing
brown rice to steam
&air to increase
from 14% to15%
Tempering of brown Tempering bins
rice(allow steamed
equalize to uniform
MC of 15%
or Brand or germ
whitening cone
undermilled rice)
Friction whitener
Fine bran
milled rice)






Rice polishing or
refining(from milled
rice to polished rice)
Rice grading(from
mixture of polished
rice to whole and
broken rice)
Sorting(with mixed
discolored grain to
purely white milled
coating(addition of
nutrients in the form
of glucose talcum or
enriched milled rice
with brokens with
known percentages

Polisher or refiner

Very fine bran

Plansifier or gyrosifter
Indented cylinder grader

Brewers rice
Broken grain

Color sorter

Discolored grain

Glazing drum




proportioning None

Auto weigher
Packaging machine


Indices of efficient milling

1. Grain factors. Maximum head rice recovery is obtained when the paddy harvested
has 20% moisture content and dried to about 14% moisture content to obtain
optimum milling results.
2. Mechanical and operational factors. Hulling and whitening operations are major
causes of grain breakage during milling. Proper selection/adjustments and operation
of the equipment are critical for optimum results.
Hulling is the removal of the husk of the paddy grain to produce brown rice or pinawa
with minimum breakage.
Whitening operation involves the removal of silver skin and bran layer of brown rice.

Insect Pests and their Control in Storage

The increase in grain production has brought about the necessity for farm stores
and huge warehouses. From the time the crop is harvested until it reaches the ultimate
consumers (man or his domestic animals0, considerable quantities re consumed and
contaminated by insects. Of the 2.63 31.3 percent losses estimated in the rice
postharvest system, 0.35 -4.55 percent occur in storage. This is largely due to insect pest
How does an insect population attain pest status and exceed the economic
threshold? There are several factors, which can be grouped into three main categories
namely: invasion, ecological changes and socio-economic changes.
Invasion- is the most common cause of pest outbreak. International trade has provided
ample opportunity for pest species to migrate and become established in new habitats.
Majority of the important pests are of foreign origin thus regulatory control through strict
quarantine is of primary importance in preventing pest problems.
Ecological change is another major cause of pest outbreak. The elimination of the pest
natural enemies (parasites and predators) with the use of broad spectrum pesticides has
often created conditions favorable to certain species which result in an increase in their
Socio-economic changes are important in affecting pest status as are actual changes in
the physical environment. The economic threshold is determined by such factors as the
market value of the grain, the cost of control measures, and consumer habits and taste.
Changes in the peoples attitude on pest-damaged commodity may drastically lower the
economic threshold and thus cause an insignificant organism to be considered a serious
pest, although its actual population density has remained unaltered.
Classification of insect pests in storage
1. According to number
Major insect pests- are found frequently in abundance or in great number.
Examples- rice weevil and flour beetle
Minor insect pests- are found in small number.
2. According to capacity to infest sound kernels
Primary pests- insects attacking previously undamaged commodities ( ex.
rice weevil, bean weevil)

Secondary pests- insects that feed on commodities that have already been
damaged (ex. flour beetles, rice moth etc.)
3. According to feeding habits- as general feeders, seed eaters, fungus feeders and
Major Insect Pest in Storage. The major insects are Coleoptera or beetles, and
Lepidoptera or moths, which respectively account for about 60 percent and 8-9 percent of
the total number of species of storage insect pests:
1. Grain weevils- rice weevil (Sitophilos oryzae and corn weevil (Sitophilus zeamais)
One of the most destructive to stored grains
Attack all cereal grains and can cause substantial weight loss
Life size is 2.5-4.5 mm
Distributed throughout the world
Average longevity is 4-5 months though some live more than a year
Female rice weevil lays from 300 to 500 eggs
Completes development from egg to adult in 4 weeks
Temperature most favorable for development is 30oC and lower limit for growth is

2. Lesser grain borer-Rhyzopertha dominica

Cosmopolitan insect and one of the most destructive insect in tropical and sub
tropical regions
Life siize is 2-3 mm, dark or black in color and with rough surface
Eats mainly grain kernels but can also develop on milled products
Female lays 200 to 500 eggs dropping them singly or in clusters up to 30 eggs
Larvae feed o ground grain produced by adult beetles and sometimes will bore
directly into kernels
Completels growth inside grain kernels or in grain dust
Takes about 33 days to complete life cycle at 30oC
Borers can breed even at temperatures as high as 37.8oC
Adult will live for about 5 months
More that 5 generation in tropical countries and 2 generations in temperate
3. Flour beetle-Tribolium spp.
Most destructive insect pests of milled products such as flour and bran
Found wordwide; T. castaneum lives in warm climate and T. confusum exists in
cooler climate
Life size is 2.5-4.5 mm; can hardly attack sound kernels
Average longevity is 6 months though some may live for more than a year
Female lays 300 to 400 eggs
Period of development rangers generally from 7 weeks to 3 months depending on
temperature, moisture and the kind of food
Develops at temperature as high as 33oC but lower limit of temperature for both
species is 18-19oC
4. Saw-toothed grain beetle- Oryzaephilus spp.
Usually found in damaged grain or processed cereal grains as well as in copra,
nuts and dried fruit
Life size is 2..5-3.5 mm
Its flat shape is convenient for crwling into crevices of a structure, can also creep
into packaged food through a crevice as narrow as 0.16 mm

Easily recognized by the 6 teeth at the edges of the thorax

Adults cannot fly
Adult can live for more than 3 years but normally life span is 6 to 10 months
Female lays 45 to 285 eggs
Life cycle is completed in 25 to 28 days at 30oC and at 70% relative humidity
May have 6 to 765 generations per year

5. Tropical ware house moth- (Ephestia spp.)

Attacks wide range of products particularly damaged or processed cereals, dried
fruit, nuts, cocoa and tobacco
Widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions
Has a wing span,of 11-28 mm
Female has an average longevity of 5 days during which it lays from 89 to 191
6. Khapra beetle-Trogoderma granarium
Can cause more a serious damage to stored grains than rice weevil or lesser grain
borer under tropical climate
Small oblong-oval insect with a life size of 2-3 mm
Attacks cereals, oilseeds and sometimes pulses
Female lays 30 to 100 eggs
Life cycle varies from 4 to 6 weeks to several years depending on temperature and
food supply
Can develop at temperature as high as 40oC
Larvae are very tolerant to food deficiencies and have high resistance to lower
temperature surviving at a temperature of 10oC for 3 days
Adults are highly resistant to low moisture condition and can breed in grain with
less than 2% moisture content
Can have 4 to 5 generations per year in tropical countries while limited to 1 to 2
generations in temperate countries
Factors Affecting Abundance of Storage Insects

Food supply- stored grains provide ideal food for storage insect pests.
They contain protein for body building, carbohydrates as source of energy and
vitamins of which vitamin B complex is essential. Requirements for theses
substances vary with insect pests.
Temperature- in general the higher the temperature the faster the insect develops.
The most favorable temperature for development and reproduction is about 28 oC.
Below 21oC and above 35oC reproduction almost ceases. Developmental period
from egg to adult becomes longer and the number of eggs fewer at lower
temperature. At higher temperature, the life cycle becomes shorter while the
oviposition rate increases. Small rice weevils complete their life cycle in 25 days
at 30oC while they take about 94 days at 18oC. At a temperature over 34oc, insects
usually cannot develop. For the rice weevil, the lower temperature limit is 14 to
15oC; for the rust red flour beetle, the limit is 18 to 19 oC. These limits are the
most important factors affecting the geographical distribution of stored product
insect species.
Relative humidity- the ideal range of development and reproduction of insect
pest is 65 to 80 % relative humidity. Insects do not breed successfully in an
environment where the relative humidity is maintained at less than 40%.
Reproduction rate generally increases as relative humidity rises.
Moisture- insects also depend primarily on their food supply for moisture to carry
on their life processes. One of the most remarkable characteristics of stored
product pests is that they can develop on food with moisture content as low as 2 to
14 percent. Moisture requirements vary with species. Generally, optimum grain

moisture for development and reproduction is 14 to 18 %. Most species do not

develop below 10% MC.
Moisture, temperature and dockage of the grains interact to provide condition
favorable for multiplication and survival of stored product insects. As temperature
is increased, insects are able to produce in grain with lower MC; when moisture is
increased, they can multiply at lower temperatures.
Competition- also exists between stored grain insect species and between
predators and parasites. The competition for food is more severe between species,
which have the same nutritional and ecological requirements. Parasites and
predators helped in reducing insect populations. Some insects such as Tribolium
spp. or flour beetles exhibit cannibalism.

Sources of insect infestation in storage

Cross infestation. This refers to the movement of pests from one commodity to
another causing infestation. This happens when sound grains are stored side by
side with infested materials or by loading both products into the same hold of ship
or the same railroad car.
Residual infestation. This results by attack from insects which have remained in
the structure of the store, vessel or vehicle after the removal of a previously
infested commodity. Grains that have accumulated in corners, drain ditches and
cracks crevices on walls, floors and ceiling and in the pillars supporting the
ceiling and walls of a warehouse, hold of a ship or railroad car, harbor and support
insect population that arte capable of reproducing in large numbers. Infestations
are frequently initiated in this manner. This is probably the most common and
dangerous source of infestation.
Use of infested containers. Bags and sacks and other containers repeatedly used
are often infested by insects. Of these, jute bags are most often infested by flour
beetle, tropical warehouse moths or rice moths.
Infestation by flight and crawling insects. Some stored grain insect pests are
capable of flight. Infestations are frequently initiated in this manner. All moth and
many beetles move to stored products by flight. Some species also crawl into new
uninfested stored products but migration by crawling is confined within narrow
Natural sources of infestation. Mills which are not well-maintained contain
dusts and grain materials from previous milling operations. The grain material
stuck in mills serve as refuge for insects and may later on become sources of
Combine harvester. After use, this is usually left in the field for several months
and packets of infestations may occur inside the machine.
Insect prevention and control
Integrated pest management (IPM)- use of all available tactics in a program to manage
pest problems and minimize economic damage and environmental side effects.
Components of IPM
1. Biological control- use of biological agent- a parasitoid, predator or a pathogen
2. Physical control
1. hygiene and physical control
2. physical exclusion
3. grain drying
4. cold/refrigeration
5. aeration
6. heat
7. hermetic (airtight) storage
8. controlled atmosphere (CA) storage
9. ionizing radiation
10. inert dust
11. physical shock and disturbance
12. light

3. chemical control
1. residual (structural treatment)
2. space treatment
3. grain protectants
4. surface sprays
5. fumigation

Rodent pest in storage

Rodents are serious pests in storage causing and estimated to 4 % stored grains to are
damaged by rodents.
Major species of rodents
1. Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus)
2. Roof rat (Rattus rattus)
3. House mouse (Mus musculus)
Control of rodents in storage
1. Environmental sanitation
2. Biological method
3. Physical method
4. Chemical method

Fungi infecting grains in storage

Fungi commonly known as molds or amag are multicellular microorganisms having
threadlike structure called hypha and sexual and asexual spores. The hypha absorbs
nutrients from the grain and the spores are responsible for reproduction.
Classification of fungi
1. Field fungi- have close association with specific commercially grown crops. Well
known examples include Fusarium graminearum (wheat, maize barley) and F.
moniliforme is endemic in maize. These are present before harvest.
2. Storage fungi- physical factors dictate fungal growth and mycotoxin formation
during storage. This includes the category of Aspergillus and Penicillium.
Nature of fungal damage on grains
1. Decrease in germinability
2. Altered nutritional value
3. Heating
4. Discoloration
5. Caking of grains
6. Low milling yields
Factors influencing fungal activity
1. Moisture content
2. Temperature
3. Gas composition of the atmosphere
4. Length of storage and storage condition
5. Insect and mite infestation
Controlling fungal damage in grains
1. Drying
2. Aeration
3. Proper harvesting and processing
4. Modifying storage atmosphere
5. Chemical treatment

Mycotoxin Production
Fungi produce toxic metabolites called mycotoxins when they grow on food or feeds.
Commodities contaminated by mycotoxins and fungal source
Fungal source
wheat,maize,barley Fusarium graminarium
F. culmorum
F. crookwellense
F. graminarium
F. crookwellense
Aspergillus ochraceus
Penicillium verrcosum
Fusarium moniliforme
maize, peanuts
Aspergillus flavus
Source: Position paper: Mycotoxins in Food and Feedstuffs, GASGA, 1993
The WHO sets the aflatoxin level in grains at below 20 ppb for human
consumption and below 50 ppb for animal consumption. Among the mycotoxins,
Aflatoxin B1 is the most potent. It is formed by the mold Aspergillus flavus a.
The most effective means of avoiding fungal damage in storage is to
immediately dry the grain down to a safe level. The safe moisture content that is
usually in equilibrium with 70% relative humidity inhibits majority of the fungi
infecting grains.
The values of moisture content equilibrium at 70% RH and 27oC are as follows;
Peanut- 7%
Paddy- 14%
Beans- 15%
Cowpea- 13.5 %

Post harvest definitions and other terminologies
Post harvest development
Relationship of the various fields of study on postproduction
Losses in postproduction
- types of storage loss
- losses in the food grain system, farm level
-the food pipeline
- postharvest losses on rice and fruits
Importance of proper postharvest handling
Advantages of proper postharvest handling
Opportunities for applying knowledge in post harvest
Learning materials
Anatomy of the paddy grain
Physical properties/characteristics of the rice grain
Review questions
Learning materials

Factors affecting grain quality deterioration

Prevention of grain quality deterioration
Grain quality in the postharvest system
Review questions


Learning materials
Principles in harvesting
Indices for optimum harvest
Methods of harvesting
Harvesting methods
Threshing methods
Feeding methods for mechanical threshers
Recommendations for harvesting and threshing
Review questions

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