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PIA Press Release

Coming up soon: All-Filipino rice beverage

By Gilda V. Llames

Balanga, Bataan (26 September) -- Something's brewing and the aroma comes from newly-harvested rice fields!

The search is on for the all-Filipino rice beverage and the end result could be the ultimate product the country has ever produced.

Dubbed Rice Race 2007, the contest, according to Imelda D. Inieto, officer-in-charge of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) in Bataan, is open to everyone except employees and relatives up to the first degree of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (Philrice).

The Rice Chemistry and Food Science Division (RCFS) of Philrice conceived the holding of the competition due to the following reasons: the dearth of rice beverages, the ease in its preparation and its market potential, Inieto stressed.

At present, Inieto said, there are plenty of Filipino rice dishes and delicacies and the market is awash with many beverage products, but there has never been an all-Filipino rice beverage.

Evelyn H. Bandonill, head of RCFS, explained that the all-Filipino rice beverage is a form of drink prepared from any type of rice sold in the market.

The product, Bandonill said, should demonstrate all the qualities of an all-Filipino rice beverage (AFRB) -- appealing to all regional palates, nutritious, all-natural, safe to drink, pleasing to the smell and can be bought by an average Filipino.

Also, the product must not contain prohibited or restricted additives. Added preservatives must be based on limits set by the Bureau of Food and Drugs and allowable alcohol content is set at 2% or less, Bandonill pointed out.

Criteria for judging, Inieto said, are: taste and appearance, 30%; product stability, 25%; originality, 25%; originality, 25%; nutritional value, 10%; economy (cost and ease in preparation) 5% and safety, 5%.

The race or contest will have regional and national runs. Winners from each Philrice branch will get P3,000. National winners will get P10,000; P5,000; and P3,000 for the first, second and third places, respectively.

A contestant can submit a maximum of three entries, according to Inieto.

Deadline for the submission of entries will be this coming October 12; regional competition has been scheduled October 22-26, while national competition will be on November 5, 2007.

Interested parties may get in touch with the OPA located at the Capitol building in Balanga City for more details regarding this contest. (PIA-Bataan) [top]

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