The quest to market best basmati begins with seed selection. Each year carefully selected healthy and pure seeds are distributed among farmers by Barkat Rice Mills freeof- cost. Throughout the season, an adequate network remains in place to interact with farmers from seedling to harvesting stage. Experts from Barkat rice visit farmers to assist them in preparation of soil, use of fertilizers, pest control techniques and crop care.
Selection and purchase of pure healthy and top grade paddy is critically important to guarantee best quality basmati rice. The company pays premium over market price to attract farmers with best produce; price is not a constraint where quality matters. At the same time BRM ensures that major portion of profit filters down to the hard working farmers. BRM has established its purchase point in Gujrat the heart of basmati growing area where farmers bring in their produce at the start of paddy season.
Comprehensive inspection & testing precede purchase of paddy lots. Random samples are drawn from paddy and tests are performed after processing in mini mill to confirm yield, grain length, field admixture and cooking characteristics. Every lot has to meet stringent quality parameters before selection for processing.
Selection of paddy is a process where a rice mill needs to devote most of its energies, expertise and time. Quality of final product largely depends upon the paddy procured. Many rice mills avoid to indulge in such a laborious process and purchase semi-processed rice from brokers instead of paddy from farmers. Unfortunately, this cannot be done without compromising on quality.
BRM has a different strategy though. Paddy is purchased at the beginning of rice season that effectively eliminates all chances of mixing of inferior varieties. This is so because paddy of different varieties of rice matures at different times and cannot be mixed with each other. On the other hand, semi-processed rice available with brokers during rest of the year remains prone to mixing that is often hard to detect.
The selected paddy is allowed to slowly reduce its moisture by traditional and modern methods until it achieves optimum moisture content for husking. Gradual drying helps to avoid thermal cracks in the rice grain that would later result in broken.
At the BRM's Sheller in Gujrat, brown rice is produced after cleaning, dehusking and grading. In this stage only the outer husk is removed, leaving the germ and bran layer intact. Top of the range Japanese Husker from Stake has been installed to ensure delicate rice grains do not develop cracks and broken tips during husking.
Bran is rich in minerals and vitamins. This minimal processing, therefore, produces rice that is healthier to eat. For BRM, the key is to ensure that Basmati retains all that nature has given it. The brown rice after grading is transported to BRM's warehouses in Islamabad.
Basmati acquires better cooking characteristics and stronger aroma when matured over a period of nine months to a year. It is therefore critical that the rice is properly matured before processing.
BRM, therefore, has a strict policy to build up stocks at the time of harvest and carry-on the maturation process under expert control. The company does not rely on the market purchase on order to order basis.
Stocks of rice are placed at BRM's spacious godowns at Gujrat and Islamabad. Well-ventilated, these godowns have been constructed specifically to store rice under hygienic conditions. During maturing period, stocks are subjected to periodic inspection and fumigation from time to time under experts' supervision for protection against infestation by organisms.
The first stage consists of several steps for cleaning of rice to ensure hygienic end-product absolutely free from all foreign materials like straw, mud balls, threads, stones, paddy, etc.
It is further ensured that once cleaned rice is not contaminated during processing. All the machines, conveyors, bins and hoppers are equipped with a generously sized aspiration system which keeps the entire building dust-free.
All the machines, conveyors, bins and hoppers are equipped with a generously sized aspiration system; keeping the entire building dust-free.
The company has implemented HACCP-compliant (Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points) system hence providing hygienic processing and suitable sanitation facilities.
Whitening & Polishing
In the second stage the bran layers are removed through whitening and polishing machines to give the rice a pearl white look.
This process is carried out gradually in several passes to save kernels from breaking. The number of passes depends upon the degree of whiteness required. The mist polishers installed at BRM impart an extremely clean and glossy appearance to the kernels of rice; a distinct advantage over traditional milling methods.
Furthermore, rice is allowed to pass through mist polishers which impart an extremely clean and glossy white appearance to the kernels, a distinct advantage over traditional milling methods. Some of the machines installed at the plant have been introduced for the first time by Buhler GmbH - another plus for BRM.
Rice is graded at different stages on the basis of thickness and length to remove malnourished, shriveled and broken grains from healthy pure and full grains.
Advanced technology from Buhler in Drum Grader, Plansifter and Indented Cylinders employed at three different stages achieve optimum and uniform grain length.
Before packing, rice is passed through the color sorter to remove discolored grains hence producing a final product with each grain having uniformity in all respects.
Color sorting is a computer-controlled process where CCD technology is used for high-resolution optical inspection of each and every kernel. It removes the high concentration of predominantly chalky and discolored kernels from healthy ones.
BRM's new Z-series color sorter features state-of-the-art cameras that detect subtlest colors and defects even smaller than 0.3mm. it has novel sorting algorithms that identify spot or color defects with high efficiency and increased yield. The equipment has a product tracking and automatic calibration mechanism that ensures consistent sorting efficiency and performance. The feeding system with advanced chute design ensures precise product presentation. Basmati rice sold as brown rice or cargo rice is also properly fumigated, cleaned and graded before packing.
BRM has installed modern computerized bagging scales to ensure a high degree of accuracy in weighing.
Each and every bag shipped weighs precisely the same. The equipment is capable of packaging different sizes ranging from 0.5 Kg to 100Kg. Several types of packaging materials are used as per customer demands. This includes
The packaging process is carefully designed and performed to increase the shelf life of products as well as easy handling till the point-of-consumption.
Even a good product needs a good presentation to sell in the market. Barkat Rice goes extra miles to present its products in beautiful, eye-catching and striking designs. A team of designers and printers has been assembled to have packaging designed as per the requirements of customers.