Rice Processing: A Beginner’s Guide to Turning Grain into Gold

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Rice goes through several processing steps before reaching your plate. Rice processing combines tradition, technology, and precision.

In this article, we will delve into how rice is processed. We have extensive knowledge about rice processing due to our years of experience.

If you are interested in the processing of rice, let’s get started!

how rice is processed

The History of Rice

Rice cultivation dates back to around 8200 BC. Today, it is widespread globally, but Asia remains its primary hub. China, India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia are the main areas.

Rice cultivation is expanding in range and yield, with a growing diversity of varieties. Italian creamy rice, Chinese Wuchang rice, and Thai jasmine rice are all very famous varieties.

In the past, rice processing was primarily done by hand. However, with advancements in technology, machinery and equipment have taken over many of these tasks. In the following sections, you will learn rice cultivation, harvesting, and processing.

How is Rice Grown?

Before you know how rice is processed, the initial step is to obtain the rice. You can purchase rice from a store, or you can choose to grow it yourself. Now you may wonder, how to grow rice?

To begin, choose a location that meets the requirements for growing rice: humid, water-rich, and warm. After completing your selection, you need to clear the weeds on the land and loosen the soil. These are all preparations for sowing.

Next, acquire the rice seeds. Purchase the quantity according to your needs. When you have the seeds, you are ready to prepare for sowing. 

The last step is sowing the seeds. Utilize modern seeders, which streamline the sowing process. With all the steps completed, it is time to patiently await the growth of the rice.

How is Rice Harvested and Processed?

When the rice changes color to a golden yellow, it is time for harvest! Harvesting can be done manually or by machines. Using machines is a better choice, as they can not only harvest but also thresh the grains. This efficiency is incomparable to humans.

Rice Processing

The Importance of Rice Processing

Curious about why rice undergoes processing? Before understanding how rice is processed, let’s understand its importance.

Firstly, rice processing involves the removal of impurities and husks. This makes rice more convenient for consumption. Additionally, during the processing, techniques like parboiled are used. These techniques aim to enhance its nutritional value and accommodate different dietary needs.

Secondly, processed rice boasts improved storage capabilities, reducing the risk of mold formation. This also makes transportation and distribution more efficient.

Finally, rice processing involves sorting grains based on their size and color. This makes it easier for people to purchase according to their needs while shopping.

Rice processing plays a crucial role in ensuring the quality, safety, and accessibility of rice products. Let’s now explore the detailed process of how rice is processed!

Rice Processing Step by Step

Are you curious about how rice is processed and transformed into polished rice? Below is a detailed breakdown of each step:


Harvested rice often contains impurities like straw and stones, necessitating thorough cleaning. This cleaning process typically involves 2 stages.

Firstly, larger and lighter impurities are removed from the rice through layered screening. Subsequently, destone machine is utilized for the second part. This machine employs vibration and suction to separate the rice and stones into different layers. With the inclined scaly plate, the stones are separated from the rice.

Pre-cleaning streamlines subsequent rice processing steps and enhances overall rice quality.

Drying Rice

Rice has lots of water, which can lead to increased breakage during the milling process. Therefore, it is essential to dry the rice before rice milling. Through extensive research and experimentation, rice with a moisture content of 13.5%-14% is optimal for milling.

In the drying machine, hot air continuously evaporates and dissipates the moisture in the rice. Once the moisture content reaches the standard, you can move on to the next step.

Drying Rice is an important step in rice processing. The drying machine not only improves the processing of rice but also prevents the rice from molding during storage.

Hulling the Husker

This step is completed by the rice husking machine. It takes clean rice and has two rubber rollers inside. These rollers crush the rice husks, separating them from the rice grains. Then, the wind blows away the husks, leaving behind the grains. The rice processed through this step is known as brown rice.

Rice Whitening

Brown rice has a yellow hue, but if you desire white rice, this step in rice processing is crucial. The rice is fed into the rice mill machine, where its grains come into contact with the machine’s drum surface. Through friction, the outer bran layer, which is yellow, is stripped away. This process results in the production of white rice.

Rice Processing

Sorting the Color

To ensure that there are no discolored grains, you need to use a color sorter. Based on changes in light intensity and color, it identifies grains with irregular coloration. Then, it separates these grains from the batch. In this way, you will get almost perfect grains of rice with the same color.

Rice Polishing

Next, the rice goes into the polishing machine. Water sprays on the rice, forming a film on the surface of the rice. It rotates against the machine, creating crystals for a smooth look. Polishing rice not only gives it a pearl-like luster. And it also removed the residue of bran powder from the previous rice processing process.

Grading the Rice

After undergoing multiple processing stages, rice inevitably incurs some breakage. Hence, it’s essential to segregate the broken rice from the whole grains. Additionally, the rice grading machine can sort the rice based on its size.


Operating a rice packaging machine is straightforward: you just need to adjust the weight settings. Once set, it automatically packs and seals rice according to the specified weight. With this, you have understood all the steps involved in rice processing.

Innovations in Rice Processing

When learning about how rice is processed, we encounter many machines. These machines have undergone significant innovation. 

For example, the drying machine now features a heat exchange system, ensuring that rice is evenly heated and quickly dried. Additionally, it’s equipped with a moisture detection device. Any rice that doesn’t meet the requirements will automatically undergo secondary drying.

Pneumatic hull machine can adjust the pressure of the rubber rollers using air pressure. Unlike traditional husk machines, which require manual pressure adjustment. This reduces the rate at which rice grains are crushed and improves the dehulling effect.

Furthermore, packaging and storage technologies have also been innovated. Vacuum packaging, improved MAP, and sealed storage prevent moisture, insects, and microbes. This ensures that rice maintains its quality during storage and transportation.

Overall, innovation in rice processing has improved production efficiency. Similarly, it has improved the quality, nutritional value, and safety of rice.

Rice Processing

Rice By-Products after Rice Processing

After rice processing, aside from rice, various by-products are also generated. These products can be utilized to avoid waste. Rice husks serve as valuable raw materials for combustion and can be utilized by drying machines. Similarly, straw can be repurposed as livestock feed or utilized in papermaking processes.

The End

Every step of rice processing aims to deliver high-quality rice to consumers worldwide. You must have a comprehensive understanding of how rice is processed now.

For more relevant information or if you need the agro machine, visit ANON. The experts are ready to provide you with additional insights!