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The Metals Industry Research and Development Center launched two (2) research and development outputs specifically for brown rice last December 9, 2015 at the MIRDC Platinum Auditorium. The technoenthusiasts, press people together with the metals and engineering industry players and key personnel of government institutions joined MIRDC in these launching of new technologies. The food processing equipment for brown rice are the microwave vacuum dryer and the superheated steam treatment system (SSTS). The microwave vacuum dryer which will produce a rice-bran of finer-grade is an effective device to make the brown rice more edible and pleasing to eat. Samples of rice bran are free tasted on this occasion through the bread and hotdogs that were served. Brown rice is one of the hottest, healthy staple food in the Philippines today.

Shown below Engr. Robert O. Dizon, MIRDC Officer-in-Charge, welcomes all the guests who attended the launching activity of the Department of Science and Technology particularly MIRDC

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The superheated steam treatment system exposes the brown rice to about 90 seconds treatment to superheated steam to reduce the enzymic activity thus increasing its shelf life. At present, the brown rice can be stored for only 1 month or less for them to remain effective, useful, or suitable for consumption.The target for shelf life is from 5-9 months but the testing is still ongoing.

Engr. Jason P. Rogelio, the project leader for microwave vacuum dryer, has received recognitions and nominations for awards. Another study on brown rice was also presented by Dr. Blanca Villarino of UP-College of Home Economics. Dr. Dominic S. Guevarra, leading the team for superheated steam treatment system, has also several projects lined-up. The latter equipment provides the brown rice more quality than those which do not undergo treatment. Engr. Rosemarie Garcia, from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute explained the background of the project. Both projects are from MIRDC.

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Below, the project teams post for a souvenir photo with Engr. Dizon, Officer-in-Charge of MIRDC and Engr. Fred Liza, Division Chief of MIRDC-Prototyping Division

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 Microwave Vacuum Chamber                 Superheated Steam Treatment System

The microwaves will stimulate molecules in the food, turns the energy into heat, causing the food to heat up. These waves are the electromagnetic waves that were converted from electrical energy. The microwaves primarily works on water molecules and heats up fats/oils and sugar in lesser extent. The parts of the microwave vacuum dryer are chiller, control box, chamber, motor drive assembly, applicator set, vacuum pump and refrigeration system.

The superheated steam has temperature higher than the vaporization (boiling) temperature. SSTS uses superheated steam as the combined process of steaming and drying of brown rice. The process extends the shelf-life and able to retain sensory acceptability and quality of brown rice without chemical additives.

SSTS constitutes a treatment chamber, superheated steam generator, a conveyor and a control system. The treatment chamber is mainly made of stainless steel and mild steel. Its processing time is 5-7 minutes. Its expected output is 85 kilograms per hour or 680 kilograms per day for 8-hours operation. Power requirement is 834 watts. The steam generator is a 5 horse power boiler with an equivalent evaporation of at least 75 kilograms per hour, operating at a pressure of at least 3 bars. The steam super heater can generate an output steam with a temperature of 300oC.

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