Short-term storage of high-moisture rice in sealed containers
Keywords:Rice, Storage, Containers
AbstractLaboratory studies in two seasons in Australia have found that re-wetted rice paddy containing 20 % moisture can be satisfactorily stored for 6 weeks at 30°C in sealed glass jars or polyethylene bags. Grain packed in the containers at the level of 22-50 g/ 100 ml showed no sprouting and mould growth. These conditions produced a modified atmosphere containing ? 20 % carbon dioxide and < 1 % oxygen within a week due to respiration of the grain and its microbial flora. At the end of storage, carbon dioxide levels were 40-50%. The taste and colour of the cooked rice from these treatments were acceptable. When lower packing levels were used, mould growth or other deterioration occurred in 1-3 weeks. It appears that with low packing levels a suitable modified atmosphere did not develop soon enough to prolong the life of the high moisture paddy. Paddy containing 30% moisture was satisfactorily stored for 2-3 weeks at packing levels of 10-50 g/ 100 ml. The carbon dioxide levels associated with these packing levels were 40-50% after 1 week and oxygen levels were < 1%. The storage life was terminated by the presence of off-odours or flavours. The technique of holding highmoisture paddy in sealed containers may offer the small farmer a low-cost solution to the problem of wastage in harvested paddy during periods of bad weather. It could allow the paddy to be held for a few weeks until sun or artificial drying facilities became available. There are difficulties in carrying out hermetic storage on a small scale by farmers, therefore field studies are needed to evaluate the laboratory studies.