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Date Created: 12/21/15
This development stimulated another market: ingredients for traditional Chinese foods. Apart from being curious and patri- otic, the Chinese are also finicky eaters. Commercial products still need to look, smell, feel and taste like the real thing that your mother used to prepare when you were young. This development thus created new application areas for existing ingredi- ents and opportunities for new types of ingredients, like compound ingredients spe- cially formulated for a particular traditional food. An interesting example is the com- mercial production of steamed bread, man- tou. A number of Chinese ingredient com- panies have developed specialised flour RRethinking the improvers for this application, including a mix of emulsifiers, enzymes, etc. One Chinese snack food had already found its way to the European market: instant noodles. The growing popularity of this product has also started to influence TRADITION the food ingredients market in Europe. The transformation of traditional Chinese snack However, in this article I have selected another snack food, that is still less known food into modern products, manufactured on an in the West, but the commercial production of which has proved to be especially chal- industrial scale, could very well be one of the lenging for ingredient suppliers: Babao most challenging and promising application (‘Eight Treasure’) Porridge. areas of food ingredients in China at this Babao Porridge Babao Porridge (Babaozhou), sweet rice moment, saysPeter Peverelliof Eurasia porridge stuffed with dates, lotus seeds and Consult in this exclusive article other fruits, is an extremely interesting example of a traditional product turned into a vogue recently through commercial pro- duction and innovative packaging. As he Chinese are an inquisitraditional snacks, washed down with a potnacks cannot be appreciated with- people and always interesof fragrant tea. out some cultural knowledge, we need to trying out the latest gadgets. TThe variety of such snack foods is enor-ort look at the history of Babao for technological things like mous, as each region has its own range of. phones, but equally so for novtypical snacks. They used to be prepared atday Babao Porridge is derived and drinks. Some try to cool dhome and although this was a time con-a southern Chinese type of porridge T a Magnum ice cream on a hotsuming task, the Chinese found it a mean-aba Porridge. La refers to the La while others prefer a chilled Heiingful investment of time. However, withthe last month of the lunar calendar Starbucks is becoming THE fashionthe modernisation came the acceleration ofeight’) to the eighth day of that place to meet one’s friends in mothe pace of life. Time became money in. On the 8th day of the lunar 12th more Chinese cities and children China as well. It was no longer regarded asle used to prepare porridge their birthdays in McDonald’s or feasible to spend several hours each day int or more ingredients to celebrate However, Chinese are as multifathe kitchen preparing the end of the year. Another story they have always been. The curiosdishes and a supply of explains the custom as a new foods is very visible, becaussnack foods. A market Buddhist tradition. Legend has it ally superficial. Underneath thatformed itself for the that Shakyamuni, after six years Chinese are still as patriotic aslarge-scale commercial of seeking enlightenment by liv- the end of the day, often in the production of snacks and sense, what they really appreciatconvenience foods. Steamed bread or mantou 24 INTERNATIONAL FOOD INGREDIENTS No.6 2005 www.ifi-online.com Today Baboa Babao porridge Porridge preview recipe comes in cans ing fru- Cola and the Big Mac. starch. As porridge, Babao Porridge is a gally, Until some 15 years ago, starchy product, produced by heating once sat when technology was ground cereals. When improperly down Ingredient Ratio(%) introduced to produce processed, the starch can start retrograding under a Babao Porridge on a large upon cooling. Although retrograde starch is tree, dead tired. A Pumpkin cubes 5 scale and sell it packed iitself harmless to the human body, it affects Glutinous rice 3 woman herding cows cans, similar to those the typical texture expected by the con- saw him and pre- Xylitol 3 used for soft drinks. sumers. pared a simple por- Konjac powder 1 The basic production Baobao Porridge easily turns brown, ridge for him using Small peanuts 0.8 process is easy enough. which is regarded as not fresh by Chinese course cereals, wild The raw materials are consumers. Sources of browning are pro- fruits and nuts. Job’s tears 0.4 mixed and cooked, tein-containing ingredients like the various Shakyamuni was so Fragrant rice 0.4 cooled and then canned. beans used in different recipes. The heating revived from eating a Wheat kernels 0.4 In this way, the porridgeof these ingredients can cause a Maillard bowl of that porridge Red beans 0.4 can be easily consumed reaction with its typical brown colour. There that he immediately as a convenient food, are several ways of avoiding a Maillard reac- Sticky yellow rice 0.4 gained enlightenment. while travelling, as a tion, including ones involving ingredients. So much for frugal liv- Maize 0.4 snack during office One can, for example, use sweeteners that ing! From that day on, Pumpkin powder 0.3 work, etc. A plastic do not facilitate browning. The Jiayi Food Buddhist Temples pre- CMC 0.3 spoon is usually Institute (Shanghai) supplies a special com- pared a similar type of attached to the can, so pound ‘anti-browning agent’ that can pre- porridge on the 8th of W olfberries 0.2 the traveller does need vent a Maillard reaction altogether. It was each 12th month. Later, Salt 0.04 to pack a metal spoon developed for application in UHT milk, but Babao Porridge was EDTA 0.02 from the kitchen is said to be working in Babao Porridge as savoured the whole year either. well. round. The remainder is made The most challenging As cooking Babao up of water. aspect of the produc- Fewer calories Porridge, including tion of Babao Traditional Baobao Porridge, home made as preparing the various ingredients, is ratPorridge is to find the optimal combinationell as commercially produced, contains time consuming, it is a typical traditionof emulsifiers and thickeners. Babao loads of sugar. This suits people who spend food that Chinese will no longer want to Porridge consists of a viscous liquid parttheir days working the fields, but modern make at home. The consumption of Baobao and solid parts (cereal solids, pieces of Chinese city dwellers have also started to Porridge indeed decreased dramatically fruits, nuts, etc). The commercial product isch their waste line. after the introduction into China of Cocamore liquid that the homemade porridge, as A combination of CMC and a low calorie it is marketed as a type of beverage sweetener like xylitol to replace the sugar (‘relieves hunger and thirst’). will not only provide an authentic mouth- Manufacturers need to formulate the prod- feel, but also decrease the caloric value. uct in such a way, that the solid parts areylitol is rapidly gaining popularity as a low more or less evenly distributed over the liq-oric sweetener in China recently. Yet uid part upon opening of the can. another route to healthier types of Babao Consumers do not want to have to dig up Porridge is to develop savoury varieties. the solids from the bottom. A number of Chinese like to eat plain porridge in the Chinese manufacturers of emulsifiers and morning with salty duck eggs, pickled veg- thickeners supply products specially formu-tables, etc. It is easy enough to alter the lated for Babao Porridge. recipe of Babao Porridge by lowering sugar Some sources propagate CMC as the and adding salty ingredients as part of the most appropriate thickener for this applica-ight treasures.’ A number of such prod- It was no longer tion. Especially when used in instant Babaocts have appeared in the southern regarded as feasible to Porridge, the dry product will easily solve ingdong province. IFI both cold and hot water, with CMC as thick-Eurasia Consult is a consultancy spe- spend several hours each day in the ener. Moreover CMC is said to enhance the cialising in the Chinese food industry taste experience of synthetic sweeteners www.eurasiaconsult.nl. kitchen preparing (see below). Eurasia and Giract publish a bimonthly dishes and a supply of Another problem requiring a proper sta- bulletin on this industry snack foods biliser system is the retrogradation of www.giract.com/food_industry_news.php www.ifi-online.com INTERNATIONAL FOOD INGREDIENTS No.6 2005 25
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