Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fluffy, white Idlis: There's more to it than Rice!

That plate of fluffy ‘Idli'  may have been cooked with rice bought at a neighbourhood store. Probably, the rice was cultivated and milled a few hundred kilometres from where you are sitting. But, someone sitting in far-away London might have been responsible for ensuring the lily-white colour and softness of the ‘idli' on the plate.

Yes. That someone in London is monitoring online the high-tech equipment at the rice mill closer to home. Even as the paddy is processed into rice, the quality is being monitored continuously from the remote location and suggestions are given online to make the required changes here.

The place is Manachanallur, about 25 km from Tiruchi. Mr B. Rajantran, Managing Director, Rice Land Agro Food Pvt Ltd, is showing around the mill, a Rs 26-crore unit, the largest in Tamil Nadu.

At Rice Land, operations are automated. The milling machine is from a Brazilian manufacturer, Zaccaria, the driers are from Thailand and the Sortex Z+, based on German technology, which ensures only grains of a uniform quality get into the bag, is from London, he says. The Sortex Z+ is connected by modem to the supplier's office in London, says Mr Rajantran.

Use of an array of technology involving high resolution cameras, sensors and infrared technology scanners ensures that only the finest white grains of rice pass muster. All else like broken grains, immature grains, bran, yellowed, chalky or red grains or the stray bit of husk do not get through.

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