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Determination of important physical properties and water absorption capacities of fourtraditional paddy varieties in Sri Lanka

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Gayan Thilakarathna, Seneviratne Navaratne and Indira Wickramasinghe

Four Sri Lankan traditional paddy varieties (Unakola samba, Suduru samba, Rathna samba and Kahamaala) were subjected to an experiment to determine physical properties and water absorption capacities. Physical Properties such as dimensions and grain masses were measured using laboratory test methods. Whereas other properties were calculated based on relationship equations. Major dimensions (Length, Width and Thickness), 1000 grain weight, geometrical mean diameter, surface area, volume, sphericity and aspect ratio were significantly different (p<0.05) among paddy varieties. While similar physical properties (p>0.05) were also observed. Water absorption capacities were investigated by steeping paddy samples in water, controlled at 70 0C. Respective samples, having different holding times, were drawn timely for the moisture analysis. As a result of steeping, moisture contents of paddy samples had been increased to various levels (p<0.05). Although rapid moisture increment was observed at the initial stage of steeping. Subsequently, rate of absorption was declined by reaching to the equilibrium where the hydration rate was insignificant (P>0.05). All paddy varieties reported their highest water absorption capacities after 5 hours of steeping and were ranged from 28.22% to 30.97% (wet basis). While Unakola samba, Suduru samba and Kahamaala recorded the highest water absorption, there was no significant difference (P>0.05) between these three varieties in water absorption. The varietal differences and steeping time were significantly influenced (P<0.05) on water absorption capacities in paddy.

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