Rice Milling

Rice is one of the most widely consumed grains in the world, and milling is an essential process that allows us to obtain the polished white grains we’re all familiar with. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what rice milling is, how it works, and its importance for the food industry.

Discover the modern method of rice milling, its importance for the food industry, and its role in producing safe, high-quality rice. Learn about the stages involved in the process, from cleaning and hulling to polishing, and how it contributes to the economy of many countries.

What is Rice Milling?

Rice milling is the process of removing the outer layer, or hull, of the rice grain to obtain the edible part inside. This process is essential because the hull is inedible and contains many impurities that could affect the quality and taste of the rice.

There are two main methods of rice milling: the traditional method, which involves pounding the rice in a mortar and pestle, and the modern method, which uses machines to automate the process. In this article, we’ll focus on the modern method of rice milling.

raw paddy fields for modern rice milling process
Raw Paddy Cleaning in Modern Rice Mills

Types of Rice Milling

There are several types of rice milling methods, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are four common types of rice milling:

  1. Abrasive Milling: In abrasive milling, the rice grains are rubbed against each other or against a rough surface to remove the outer layers. This method is less efficient than other methods and can damage rice grains, but it is still used in some parts of the world.
  2. Engleberg Milling: Engleberg milling is a type of abrasive milling that uses a machine called an Engleberg huller to remove the husk. This method is faster and more efficient than traditional methods of milling but can still damage the rice grains.
  3. Under-Runner Disc Milling: Under-runner disc milling involves using two discs, one of which is fixed and the other rotates. The rice grains are fed between the discs, and the rotating disc removes the outer layers. This method is more efficient than abrasive milling and produces high-quality rice.
  4. Modern Milling: Modern milling uses machines to automate the process of rice milling. This method is highly efficient and produces high-quality rice with minimal damage to the rice grains. It typically involves a combination of cleaning, hulling, whitening, and polishing.

Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of milling method will depend on factors such as cost, efficiency, and desired quality of the end product.

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How Does Rice Milling Work?

The modern method of rice milling involves several stages, each designed to remove a specific layer of the rice grain. These stages include:

  1. Cleaning and Hulling: The first stage of rice milling involves cleaning the rice to remove any impurities or debris. The cleaned rice is then sent through a huller, which removes the outer husk, or hull, of the rice grain.
  2. Whitening: After the hull is removed, the rice is still covered by several layers of bran or outer skin. The next stage of rice milling is the whitening process, which removes these layers and gives the rice its characteristic white color.
  3. Polishing: The final stage of rice milling is polishing, which involves buffing the surface of the rice to give it a smooth, glossy finish. This step also helps to remove any remaining bran particles and impurities.

Parboiling of Rice

Parboiling is a process of partially boiling rice before removing the husk. The purpose of parboiling is to improve the nutritional value and extend the shelf life of rice. Parboiling involves soaking, steaming, and drying the rice grains before they are milled.

  • During the parboiling process, the rice grains are soaked in water to allow them to absorb moisture. The grains are then steamed to soften the husk and gelatinize the starch. Finally, the grains are dried to a moisture content suitable for milling.
  • Parboiling has several benefits, including improving the rice’s nutritional value by increasing the level of vitamins and minerals. It also makes the rice less brittle and more resistant to insect damage, which extends its shelf life.
  • The parboiling point is the temperature at which rice is steamed during the parboiling process. The temperature of the steam is usually between 100°C and 120°C, depending on the type of rice and the desired end product.

Modern Rice Milling Process: A Comprehensive Flow Chart








Removes impurities 

Removes husk layer 

Removes bran layer 

Polishes grain 

Grades by size, shape, and color 

Sorts by the quality and removes impurities 

Packages for sale


The Importance of Rice Milling

Rice milling is an essential process for the food industry because it allows us to produce high-quality, polished rice that is safe for consumption. Without rice milling, we would have to eat rice that is covered in inedible husks and impurities, which would not only be unpleasant but also potentially harmful.

In addition to its importance for the food industry, rice milling also plays a crucial role in the economy of many countries. Rice is a staple food for millions of people around the world, and the rice milling industry provides employment for millions of people in countries such as India, China, and Thailand.


In conclusion, rice milling is a vital process that allows us to produce safe, high-quality rice that is free of impurities and inedible husks. Whether you’re enjoying a bowl of rice at home or relying on it as a staple food, it’s important to appreciate the role that rice milling plays in bringing this nutritious grain to our plates.


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