Un-melted rice ice cream: the latest Thai food innovation

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Ice cream is pleasurable to children and adults alike. We all prefer to have it melt in our mouths rather than out in the air. In a hot and humid country like Thailand, ice cream melts so fast it is impossible to leave it for only a few minutes.

This worry came to an end when a Thai entrepreneur came up with a new innovation which makes ice cream not melt, even when hot water is poured over it, as he claimed.

His ice cream recently burst into the awards circle by winning the first runner up prize at the Rice Innovation Awards 2011, a competition held for the fifth time in the Thai capital. It is of course the country’s latest food innovation.

Marut Chalotorn, the rice ice cream innovator at Foodies Plus, says it not only is un-melted, but also has the special quality of being able to be shaped as high as 15 inches.

The dessert, with a texture similar to that of a pudding, is made of Thai Hom Mali fragrant rice (jasmine rice) flour, soybean, milk, and other usual ice cream ingredients.

As Marut tells it, his adapted ice cream-making process involves changing ice cream’s ingredients with white rice flour able to hold its form and dissolve in cold water.

Those who feel like trying out the new ice cream should ‘stay tuned’ as the product will hit markets soon. The price per scoop is set at Bt29, or about one US dollar.

The rice innovation competition is sponsored annually by the Thai Rice Foundation and the National Innovation Agency (NIA). Both public and private sectors join the contest to honor Thai entrepreneurs coming up with rice innovations in their products and production processes.

Another product winning a similar prize in the competition’s industrial products category was an instant cream powder made from rice bran oil produced by the Thai Edible Oil Company.

Designed to appeal to those who favor health foods, the product has neither saturated fat nor cholesterol-prone trans fat, but has high gamma oryzanol, which helps reduce cholesterol and contains anti-oxidant properties.

Sadly, this year’s competition, despite receiving 36 entries, found no winner, for none of the competing products passed every criterion indicated by the judging committee.

As rice is the staple food of Thailand, having rice variations is a great way of transforming the commodity into other forms in order that rice consumers have more options when it comes to grain products. And now this goody can appeal also those without a special affection for straightforward plain rice.