13 September 20188 min reading

One of the most crucial issues for rapidly growing world population is how to feed next generations. It is estimated that world population will hit 9,5 billion in 2050 and food demand of this population will increase by %60. This makes production of rice and pulses critical.


Rice, the only aquatic grain, is the main food staple for two-thirds of the world population. It is planted in more than 100 countries across the world except Antarctica. Main producers are the US, India, China, Brazil and Thailand. Bangladesh has also a remarkable increase in production. Main rice exporters are the US, India, Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan. Global rice supply is expected to increase by %1,3 year-on-year in 2018-2019 season to hit 663 million tons. If these figures are realized, a new record will be set for global rice production. The expansion is expected to be area-driven and concentrated in Asia, where more stable weather and attractive producer returns could lift output to new highs. Production is also forecast to recover in Africa and the United States, while unseasonable growing conditions or tight producer margins are likely to depress output elsewhere in the world. International trade in rice is predicted to fall only marginally (0.8 percent) below the 2017 record to 47.8 million tons, as expected import cuts by countries in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean are largely compensated by greater deliveries to all other regions. Asia has the highest consumption per capita but there is a decreasing trend. This region consumes 90 % of global rice supply but wheat has started to find its way into Asian cuisine. Africa draws attention for growth in rice production and consumption.

Paddy is the seed of the grass species Oryza sativa L. and when the paddy is husked in a proper way; germ and aleurone parts are taken out partially and completely with various processes we get the product of rice. Paddy is processed with sifters, destoners, husking machines, drum graders, separators, air/water polishers, rice sifters, broken rice trieurs, immature grain and spotted grain sorters, oiling machines and becomes rice.

As paddy farmers want to get high yield, rice factories expect to get clean products with high processing yield. To increase yield and quality; proper cultivation, processing, storing and marketing methods should be utilized for rice from selecting breeds to offering for consumers. But recently there is a significant issue about mixing low-quality rice with high-quality rice or mixing imported/domestic products or mixing different kinds of domestic products and putting onto the market. Rice industrialists expect to get clean and unmixed paddies which do not contain red paddies. This is important for better processing and marketing. Baldo is the most popular rice in Turkey while Basmati type rice has a global market with highest prices thanks to its flavor and quality.

Defective grains should not be more than 0,5-1% in rice and to ensure this, automatic color sorting machine is very important. Color sorter, identifies black, red, cream and other defective colored grains after the rice is husked.

Factors for quality rice production can be listed as selecting the breed to be planted, preparing the field, timing of planting, density of planting, fertilization method, fertilization dosage, usage and timing of agricultural pesticides, timing for cutting off the water, harvest season, storage methods and conditions, proper methods and technologies in processing and marketing phases. In addition to those, climate conditions during vegetation period and especially temperature differences during grain filling has a crucial effect on rice quality and especially on rice yield that contains no broken grains.

There are 3 different yield categories: cargo, broken and non-broken. The last category is the most important one and it represents the amount of non-broken rice amount obtained from 100 kgs of paddy. This represents a high quality across the world. Demand for vitreous and coarse-grained may change according to the country but vitreous grains are preferable for productivity.

Nearly 90 percent of the rice is starch. It is not rich of proteins (5.3-10.2%) or vitamins. Even so, nutritiousness of rice is vital for the countries that consume high amounts of rice. Yearly rice consumption of rice per capita is 100-150 kgs for those countries. So, fortification of rice with additives during or after processing is crucial for human health.

QUALITY FACTORS FOR RICE Quality of rice is affected not only by its genetic nature but also vegetation techniques, processing, storing and marketing conditions. Unbroken yield is the most important quality factor. Although it is strongly linked to selecting the breed before planting and it is affected by vegetation techniques and environmental factors, utilizing proper methods in the factory is also crucial factor to obtain high quality. In order to prevent mechanical damages causing hidden breakings, paying attention when handling and storing the incoming paddy is important. Paddy should be stored at appropriate conditions and processed at proper humidity rate. Researches show that humidity rate of 14% is the best condition for unbroken rice yield. More or less humidity conditions would have an adverse effect on the yield. When processing, the same kind of paddies should be handled together. At least, they should be at same sizes. If paddies of different sizes are processed together, yield would decrease. The most advanced technology should be used; the product should be well cleaned from stones, soil or insects. Broken, immature, undergrowth, chalky and red paddies should be sorted out with proper machines.

Rice should be packaged and stored in appropriate conditions. Infestation by insects, bacteria or fungus should be prevented. It should not be stored with products that give off smell. Different kinds of rice should not be mixed. If it is required to do so, rice with similar physical and chemical attributes may be mixed.

THE AFLATOXIN RISK The rice, one of the main staples for world population can be affected by aflatoxin which is a carcinogenic toxin. According to studies, 500 million people have the risk for being exposed to this toxin. Aflatoxin is the prime suspect of 150 thousand liver cancer cases every year. There are some methods being developed to sort out grains with possible aflatoxin content. A new system can identify those grains and increase productivity. This system uses high precision cameras and a LED based strong UV lighting. Thus, aflatoxin associated grains can be separated from healthy ones. Cloud based system can monitor product flow and assess risk continuously. So it becomes possible to prevent product loss and ensure safety of the end product.

WORLD PULSES PRODUCTION Global food security is in danger because of factors like rapid increase of world population, global warming, climate change, shrinking of arable lands. According to the United Nations, more than 850 million people are affected by hunger now. It is estimated that world population will hit 9,5 billion in 2050 and food demand of this population will increase by 60 %. These developments show the importance of pulses for food security. Because pulses support the soil, they need less water, they cause less carbon release and they are rich in protein, building block of human body. UN declaration for 2016 as “World Pulses Year” was not a coincidence. Consumers obtain 22% of vegetable proteins and 7% of carbohydrates from pulses. For animal breeding, 38% of vegetable proteins and 5% of carbohydrates are obtained from pulses.

Pulses like lentil, chickpea, bean, pease, broad bean and kidney bean are ‘the food of past, today and future’. Production and consumption of pulses should be promoted for the future of the life. It is effective against chronic diseases like diabetes or cardiac diseases and preventing high cholesterol and anemia. Pulses do not contain genetically modified organizations. They don’t have gluten. They have the highest vegetable protein. It is a non-allergic product; nobody has been identified as allergic to pulses in the world. Pulses are not only healthy they are also eco-friendly. They give the soil its nitrogen back. So the need for fertilizers and carbon emissions decrease. Environmental pollution can be prevented. Our water resources are scarce. And water consumption for cultivating or for cooking pulses is very low.

Production and consumption for pulses are growing rapidly in the world thanks to increasing awareness about this product group. Pulses production has grown by more than 50% from 2000 to 2017. In the last decade, average annual production is 60 million tons. Estimated production for 2017-2018 is 77 million tons. Market value of the sector has exceeded 40 billion USD.

India is the leading country for production, consumption and exports of pulses. Other important producers are Canada, Myanmar, China, Nigeria, Brazil, Australia, the US and Russia. Main exporters are Canada, Argentina, France and Ethiopia. India produces 25% of world’s pulses. Canada is at the second place with 7,5%.

Pulses consumption is increasing globally but decreasing in Turkey. According to a survey, pulses planting area decreased by 37% and production decreased by 28% in the last 10 years. Pulse imports increased by 181% in the last 7 years. The ratio of domestic production to domestic consumption declined to 84,3 %. Imports rose up to 400 thousand tons per year.

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