In news– Recently, Telangana Chief Minister and members of his Cabinet staged a dharna at Telangana House, demanding a uniform paddy procurement policy. The protest came after the Centre said it was stopping the purchase of excess parboiled rice, of which Telangana is a major producer.
About Parboiled Rice-
- The expression parboiled rice refers to rice that has been partially boiled at the paddy stage, before milling.
- Parboiling of rice is not a new practice, and has been followed in India since ancient times.
- However, there is no specific definition of parboiled rice of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) or the Food Ministry.
- Presently, there are several processes for parboiling rice. For example, the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysuru, uses a method in which the paddy is soaked in hot water for three hours, in contrast to the more common method in which paddy is soaked for 8 hours.
- The water is then drained and the paddy steamed for 20 minutes.
- Also, the paddy is dried in the shade in the method used by the CFTRI, but is sun-dried in the common method.
- The Paddy Processing Research Centre (PPRC), Thanjavur follows a method known as the chromate soaking process.
- It uses chromate, a family of salt in which the anion contains both chromium and oxygen, which removes the odour from the wet rice.
- All processes generally involve three stages—soaking, steaming and drying. After passing through these stages, the paddy goes for milling.
- Generally, all varieties can be processed into parboiled rice, but it is ideal to use long slender varieties to prevent breakage during milling.
- However, aromatic varieties should not be parboiled because the process can make it lose its aroma.
- Telangana is under the DCP (Decentralised Procurement) system, wherein “the state government/ its agencies procure, store and distribute” (against government of India’s allocation for TPDS & OWS etc.) rice within the state and the “excess stocks” (rice) procured by the state/its agencies are handed over to the FCI in Central pool.
Advantages of parboiling-
- Parboiling makes rice tougher, thus reducing the chances of the rice kernel breaking during milling.
- Parboiling also increases the nutrient value of the rice.
- Parboiled rice has a higher resistance to insects and fungi.
- The rice becomes darker and may smell unpleasant due to prolonged soaking.
- Setting up a parboiling rice milling unit requires a higher investment than a raw rice milling unit.