LONDON, ENGLAND — The Bühler Group has finalized a complete upgrade of milling equipment for the La Suerte Ricemill Corporation in Isabela, Philippines. The mill is now running exclusively on Bühler’s state-of-the-art technology, following this year’s installation of a 10-12 tonnes per hour (tph) rice whitening line, a 20-tph rice hulling line in 2013 and SORTEX optical sorting technology in 2009.

“By using Bühler machinery, our sales have grown significantly in a short period of time, largely as a result of the superior appearance and taste of the rice that we can now produce,” said La Suerte Ricemill Chief Executive Officer and President Ricardo P. Tan. “Naturally, the team at the mill are delighted. Bühler’s highly impressive technology has provided us with the all-important competitive advantage we need, to take the leading position in our industry. Our return on investment has already been fantastic and we’re delighted with the result.”
La Suerte first tried Bühler’s TopWhite rice whiteners in 2007, running them alongside existing technologies, to compare the results. The Bühler equipment delivered an improved hull clean yield – producing 2%-3% more head rice when compared to the mill’s existing whiteners.

“We started to run the machines side by side with our existing solutions and found that, when it came to head rice recovery, the TopWhite rice whitener from Bühler produced significantly higher yield, with less rice breakage,” Tan said. “When you consider that head rice commands between 30% and 35% more per tonne, then the difference to our bottom line is considerable.”

These early successes encouraged La Suerte to turn to Bühler for optical sorting technology – enabling it to identify and separate defective and foreign items from the product stream by color, shape or other optical properties. Further installation of Bühler’s rice milling and dehulling machines enabled the mill to increase its paddy input to 20 tph, the company said

The next stage in the mill’s development will come with Bühler’s de-stoner, for the removal of stones and other high-density impurities, such as metal and glass, a huller and separator, grading solutions to classify rice by kernel size, as well as optical sorting solutions. The mill also receives ongoing 24/7 Bühler service, with localized support.

“We are confident that with Bühler as our partner, we can meet the increasing challenges facing the industry,” Tan said. “We believe Bühler’s products deliver the best in leading-edge food safety innovations, and since updating most of our mill equipment with Bühler technology, we have been able to consistently deliver perfect quality rice to our customers in the marketplace.”

“La Suerte’s significant investment demonstrates its strategy and commitment to meet the growing demands for its premium Ivory Grains Classic brand,” said Rustom Mistry, director, head of rice processing, Asia for Bühler. “La Suerte is one of the most respected rice millers in the Philippines. We’re delighted to know that using our technology has provided the team with the peace of mind and a 24/7 operation which is performing efficiently and delivering on the results required. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Isabela La Suerte Ricemill Corporation.”