By Delia DelicaGotis
S&T Media Service, DOST-ITDI)
Trends show that preference for healthy and nutritious alternative foods and beverages is levelling up. Recognizing this trend, the Department of Science and Technology develops the rice milk, offering a healthy alternative to soya, almond, and cow’s milk drink, and a new addition to the beverage industry’s product line.
There is never a dull moment inside the DOST-ITDI food research and development labs. Food researchers and technologists never stop in their quest for new and better food products. Recently, they developed the rice milk, a beverage that the health-conscious, young and old alike, are likely to enjoy.
Led and motivated by ITDI Director, Dr. Maria Patricia V. Azanza, a food technologist herself, the research team is relentless in exploring the many benefits of our country’s agricultural produce, one of which is rice.
Using one of the DOST- developed food processing equipment called the water retort, the team was able to process rice into milk drink and shake.
“These newly developed rice milk drink and shake products are among the many food product prototypes being developed under the DOST Food Innovation Centers (FICs) established nationwide starting April 2015,”Azanza explained.“And we also hope to recognize the most innovative products.”
She added that the project also aims to train food product development teams and develop at least 2,000 product prototypes using the DOST- designed and developed food processing equipment.
The developed rice milk products were successfully launched early this year at the DOST Main FIC in ITDI, with DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo in attendance, together with other officials and employees. Again on April 12, 2016 during the DOST Science Nation Tour in Pulilan, Bulacan, the rice milk drink and shake, along with the other developed food product prototypes, were presented to the public. During the taste tests, the ITDI team received positive comments.
The DOST rice milk is made from the cultivars/base of red, brown, black and glutinous (malagkit) rice. To prepare, the rice is mixed with water, boiled, blended, homogenized, bottled, and pasteurized at 80 to 90 degrees Celsius using water retort.
Pasteurization (or heat processing a liquid or food) kills the disease-causing bacteria. This makes the food safe to eat, thereby reducing the transmission of diseases, such as typhoid fever, tuberculosis, scarlet fever, polio, and dysentery.
To add a twist and perk up the taste of rice milk, the team added other flavors such as mango (e.g., ripe carabao and pico); banana (saba, cavendish, latundan, lakatan, senyorita); coffee (cappuccino, mocha); and chocolate.
Rice milk, like soya and almond milk, does not contain lactose or cholesterol, making it good for the heart and appropriate for the lactose-intolerant. It can also be fortified with calcium, niacin, vitamins B12, A, and D for added nutrition. If rice milk is to be used as substitute for cow’s milk, more Calcium- and protein-rich food should be consumed as rice milk contains less of these nutrients.
For inquiries on food product development/processing technologies, interested indiciduals may contact Engr. Norberto Ambagan, chief of the Food Processing Division of the Industrial Technology Development Institute at telephone no. 837-2071 local 2187 or visit www.itdi.dost.gov.ph.