It is that time of the year when the godowns in the granary bowls of the country i.e. Punjab, Haryana, and parts of Western UP would be preparing themselves to weed out the old stock which could not be transported to its end destination or which on account of being stored in the open has undergone a change in form. This stock of grains, be it rice or paddy would be up for sale and auction to be picked up by the distilleries and breweries around the countryside.
For the procurement agencies and the godown owners who have been dumping the stored grains, maybe the time has come to leverage new technological innovations and get a better price for the grain that they would be disposing of for a pittance.
As the liquor industry is shaping up and coming up with interesting formulations to expand the outreach of their markets and rope in new clients and new areas of operations, the quality of raw material is going to be a determining factor. The major points from which the raw material is sourced in the godowns and the storage systems.
These storage systems have upgraded in terms of structures for providing better storage ambiance, but the awareness about quality testing at the time of storage is still in its infancy and it needs to be toned up. Agri commodities worth billions of dollars move in the value chain post-harvesting but the value chains are not technically equipped to assess them and facilitate efficient decision making.
Speaking from the perspective of the distillery and the brewery industry, the owners or the manufacturers are looking for grains that should be clean, do not have blackheads, should not include foreign material and the extent of damage should be quantifiable. Besides, nitrogen content, absence of foreign seed and materials, absence of damaged grains and fungal growth, germinative capacity, and germination energy are other aspects that the distillery owners look at in the grains. Traceability is another aspect that is being emphasized upon for safe and wholesome products and to avoid product recall for safety reasons.
The distillery industry is looking at the grain yield and starch content, as these are the two criteria that help in distillation and for processing into different types of products. In the case of rice, it is the short grain which is the preferred variety as it has maximum starch content and is preferred adjunct with barley malt.
In the case of wheat- which incidentally has emerged as the preferred grain by the distilleries, the distilleries are looking at the protein content and the softness of the grain.
AgNext’s SPECX-Pro is one such technology that is able to discern the starch content and it provides the results within 30 seconds, that too one needs not to send the samples for wet chemistry tests and inter alia facilitates dry tests within minutes.
The ability of SPECX-Pro to undertake is a win-win situation for all, as it provides an option for the grain storage owners to aspire to have better price realization. For the distillers, it helps them get quality grains that facilitate better products.