Moisture content is basically the weight of water that is contained in the rice or paddy which is expressed in percentage. This is referred to the wet basis that means the total weight of the grain inclusive of water.
Why is it important?
It is extremely important to measure the content of moisture in the rice because of the managing and marketing of paddy and rice. Due to different purposes of rice that depends on different ideal moisture contents makes the testing of accurate moisture content essential. If there are inaccurate measurements of moisture content, it can lead to different serious scenarios:
- If the grain is extremely wet in the storage, it will get spoiled.
- In case the grain is too solid means very dry, it will result in the weight loss of these grains that means loss in profit.
- If paddy is harvested wetter than what is required, it will lead to extra drying cost and also loss in harvesting.
- When rice is milled at wrong moisture content, there is lower head rice.
- If you dry the paddy too far, it results in extra drying cost along with loss in the quality of the rice.
How to measure the moisture content?
There are two methods of measuring the moisture of content in grain:
- Primary Method – It is based on the weight measurements such as infrared moisture balance and oven method
- Secondary Method – Electronic instruments are used in this method that makes use of electrical characteristics of grain
When it comes to measuring the moisture content, there are a number of portable grain moisture meters that can be used. Make sure, when you are selecting a meter for this purpose, that it is suitable for the activity that you are going to use it for, such as milling grain or harvesting paddy.
The type of portable moisture meter used in:
Harvesting – Here, to measure MC use a resistance moisture meter that can provide you quick results with small samples only. If you have low MC, you will have more losses from shattering and higher Mc will result in losses from poor grain quality.
Drying – The seeds should be dried below 12% and grains below 14% as improper drying will lead to low see and grain quality. In order to avoid any damage, dry the paddy within 24 hrs after the harvesting.
Storage – In the initial weeks and months, MC percentage should be 14% or less and in 8 to 12 months, it should be 13% or less.
Milling – The standard MC is between 13% and 14%.