February 20, 2018
As an alternative to sand-casted aluminium false bottom used for improved rice parboiling, the stainless steel tray used for winnowing has been concluded to be an effective, cheaper and durable option, which can contribute to more profitable parboiling.
Sand-Casted Aluminium and Improvised False Bottoms
After the conclusion of Rice Post-Harvest Processing and Marketing Pilot Project (RIPMAPP) in Niger and Nasarawa states in March, 2016, JICA and FMARD have been disseminating the false bottom technology developed during the project to other states in Nigeria. In the course of dissemination, it was observed that due to a little high cost of sand-casted aluminium false bottom, some parboilers who could not afford it resorted to utilization of other materials as alternatives. These materials include lid of petrol drum, roofing sheet and cover of a standing fan. However, some of these alternatives have certain disadvantages which include poor durability and/or not readily available.
Stainless Steel Tray
A unique finding was the utilization of stainless steel tray used for winnowing as an alternative false bottom by some parboilers. JICA discovered that the tray is readily available in the local market and very cheap. In Abuja, trays good for 20 gallon pot and trays good for 30 and 40 gallon pots are available. As of January 2018, the price of tray good for 30 and 40 gallon pot is NGN 1,500 (approx. 4 USD), while the price of sand-casted aluminium false bottom is NGN 8,000 (approx. 22 USD).
According to a parboiler who uses this tray, she conducted parboiling more than 200 times in three (3) years and the tray does not have any damage yet. Thus, JICA conducted an experiment to check the strength and effectiveness of the tray in January 2018.
During the experiment, it was observed that using the tray had similar steaming duration as sand-casted aluminium false bottom and the milled rice was as white as that of milled rice using sand-casted false bottom. The tray was also intact, with no physical damage observed. It has been concluded that the stainless steel tray could serve as a cheaper alternative to sand-casted aluminium false bottom and can last for at least a year. During this one year, money invested can be recouped and parboilers can obtain additional profit with which they can procure more durable sand-casted aluminium false bottom.
Fig: Stainless steel tray with holes used as an alternative to sand casted aluminium false bottom for improved rice parboiling. Tray can be perforated with 3.5mm diameter nail.