World's most expensive rice to launch in Singapore next month

Kinmemai Premium rice will retail for $155 for six 140g sachets from Nov 1. It will be available to Singapore consumers online. PHOTO: KINMEMAI RICE

SINGAPORE - A brand of Japanese rice, which touts itself as the world's most expensive rice, will be soon be available in Singapore. It is the first time the Japanese rice blend, called Kinmemai Premium, is being marketed outside Japan since its launch last year.

The rice was listed in last year's Guinness World Records as the world's most expensive rice, with a price of US$109 (S$148) for a kilogram.

It will be available to Singapore buyers on its website at $155 for a box of six 140g sachets from Nov 1.

Kinmemai Premium is a blend of five rice varieties, such as Koshihikari and Pikamaru, from different producers in prefectures including Gunma, Nagano and Niigata. The blend can change from year to year, depending on the flavour profiles of each type of rice, and may include more varietals, as decided by Toyo Rice Corp, the Wakayama-based company that produces Kinmemai rice products.

This year's blend is based on a selection of rice that received Gold awards at last year's annual International Contest on Rice Taste Evaluation in Kumamoto's Kikuchi City.

The rice, which is marketed as being rinse-free - there is no need to wash the rice before cooking it - is milled using Toyo Rice's patented rice technology.

According to the company, the technology boasts gentler and more precise polishing techniques that remove only the water-resistant, indigestible wax layer around the husk of the grain, retaining its beneficial elements, vitamins and flavours.

The grains are aged for six months to enhance texture and flavour, before being milled.

When compared with conventional Japanese rice, Kinmemai Premium is said to be superior in flavour, sweetness and nutritional value.

The rice is also said to contain six times more lipopolysaccharides - endotoxins that act as natural boosters for the body's immune system.

The corporation's head of global business development, Ms Chikako Yamawaki, recommends soaking the rice for 30 minutes prior to cooking, for optimum flavour.

Kinmemai also has two other products in its less premium rice range - Kinmemai Better White and Kinmemai Better Brown - which have been retailing at supermarkets here, including Cold Storage, Jason's Market Place and leading Japanese supermarkets, since June.

Kinmemai Better White has a recommended retail price of $9.40 for a 1kg bag, while Kinmemai Better Brown has a recommended retail price of $9.80 for a 1kg bag.

Ms Yamawaki says the company is also looking to launch its Kinmemai Premium rice range in Hong Kong and the United States.

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