At a foodservice seminar held in Taichung, Taiwan, last week, researchers presented results showing U.S. rice varieties have a distinct advantage in cooking yield over domestic varieties.
When cooked, both U.S. medium and long grain rice had a higher volume/weight ratio when compared to local varieties, according to Masie Kao, Associate Professor of Food and Beverage Management and Culinary Arts at Kun Shan University. This attribute can have a significant impact on the profitability of a foodservice operation.
Kao’s research also explained the optimum water/rice ratio when cooking the different types of U.S. rice and the versatility of these rice types in the central kitchen concept – where frozen or chilled rice is delivered to restaurants to be microwaved prior to serving. Research presented at a similar event last year demonstrated the versatility of U.S. rice types in maintaining quality when frozen and reheated.
All this research is aimed at demonstrating the value of U.S. rice to Taiwan’s foodservice industry.
“Eating outside the home is becoming very popular in Taiwan,” said Hugh Maginnis, USA Rice vice president international. “In 2016, Taiwan’s total population was 23.5 million people, and 64.8 percent, or more than 11 million people, said they ate breakfast outside the home, while 79 percent, or 13.7 million people, dined out for lunch. We can see that foodservice is currently the most important segment in Taiwan’s food economy, and why USA Rice targets this segment so heavily when organizing promotion events.”
U.S. rice exports to Taiwan totaled 63,467 MT in calendar year 2016, 51 percent of total imports. Imports from the U.S. through July 2017 stood at 43,759 MT, with a market share of 50 percent.