CHINESE RICE GRINDERS
IN SRI LANKA
Rice is the staple diet in Sri Lanka. Rice can be milled to produce flour, which is used for a
variety of popular food preparations. The most popular rice flour-based foods are hoppers, string
hoppers, and pittu. Rice flour is also used to make traditional sweetmeats such as Kawun which
are made for the New Year and other festive occasions.
Traditionally milling is done by women. Wet rice is placed in a wangediya (mortar) and is
continuously pounded by a molgaha (pestle). This is a tedious and slow process (3-4 kg per
hour) which can cause health problems (backaches and other spinal injuries).
There are also mills that produce ground rice flour and other ground grain products on a
commercial scale (MDK, Ruhunu Grinding Mills, Harischnadra etc.).
In 1991, Practical Action (then called ITDG) conducted a survey on technology options that are
in use in the market. Practical Action’s observations showed that there are a number of grinding
machines that are suitable for grinding dry materials. The FFC 15 model was found to be
suitable for wet grinding and available. It is imported from China by Lanka General Trading Co.
Ltd (successors to State Trading (General) Corporation). Udaya Industries (Kandy) has developed
a similar machine with the same capacity. These models (the imported and locally fabricated
models) are appropriate for small-scale enterprises.
The “FFC 15” grinder
This equipment (FFC 15) is a disk mill that is capable of grinding and sieving in one step. The
machine has an electric motor and with 3 types of screens for different products. Inside the
body of the machine, there is a rotator with steel teeth. The screens are placed around the
rotator and the fineness of the product can be controlled by adjusting the screen placement. This
grinder can be used for corn, soya bean, sorghum, potato chips, bean-cake etc. Practical Action
field tested model FFC 15 for rice.
Three FFC models are available to meet different levels of production (See Table 1). They are
simple, robust in construction, low maintenance and easy to operate.
The investors can hire the service to outsiders to earn extra cash. This type machine is ideal for a
ground rice-based food producer. They would be able to get their rice milled at a low cost and
good quality of the flour is also assured.
Advantages of the grinder
• This grinder is low cost and suitable for small-scale milling and easy to operate and
• Less work load and less time consumed as compared with traditional methods.
• The machine can be used for grinding grain in wet or dry conditions.
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