Poor rice quality contributes to $3.39bn losses

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Rice

Poor rice quality contributes to $3.39bn losses
Rice quality issues contribute to $3.39bn a year at least in global costs to the food industry from rice waste, significantly boosting the importance of quality testing.

That's according to John Bogart, managing director of US measurement instrumentation specialist Kett.

Estimating wastage at 1%, annual rice production of 678m tonnes (2009 figures, 'World, Wheat, Corn & Rice' report, Oklahoma State University, FAOSTAT), Bogart told FoodProductionDaily.com scrapping rice because of quality issues would cost $3.39bn annually.

And this was based purely on statistics for plain, non-value added, rice he told this site.

'More stress on systems'

Moisture content was the core determinant of rice quality, with more moisture commanding more money, said Bogart. Dryness caused a range of quality problems, he added.

"Rice moisture content is essential for assessing quality and value. Inaccurate moisture content can lead to extreme profit losses for both farmers and food manufacturers."

Commenting on whether rice quality was more or less of an issue than five years ago, Bogart therefore responded: "More - more volume, more money, more producers, more demand, more stress on systems.

'Higher prices/margins'

"While some view rice as a commodity, many are starting to realise that overall quality (processibility, consistency, colour, taste, texture) plays an increasing role in being able to request higher prices/margins in the distribution/sales channels."

As a result, as the industry's ability to transport rice internationally increased, buyers and sellers needed "to optimise their end of the transaction and not risk losing a relationship".

"The more confidence you have in the 'accuracy' and 'precision' of your measurement methods, the closer you can run to the limits, thereby optimising your profits and keeping your downside risk to acceptable limits."

Rice testing tools launched recently by Kett include the RN300 rice quality analyser, the AN820 instant rice composition analyser and the TR130 updated portable grain husker.

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