University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture


Rice drying, silica gel


Rice drying operations can encounter problems of over drying and losses in head rice yield (HRY) through the formation of fissures. Typical rice drying methods also utilize large volumes of expensive fossil fuels to dry the kernels. Drying of rice with a solid desiccant such as silica gel has several potential advantages that avoid some of these problems. Two cultivars of long-grain rough rice, ‘Cheniere’ and ‘Wells’ with harvest moisture contents of 17.8% and 22.0%, respectively, were dried over a 48-h period with various ratios of rough rice-to-silica gel. It was found that an intimate mixture of 3:1 rough rice to silica gel was sufficient to dry these rice lots to 12.5% and 14.3% within 12 h, respectively. Head rice yields of desiccant-dried rice showed no considerable differences from the control. Rough-rice drying curves for all rough rice-to-silica gel mixtures followed exponential relationships.