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Malaysia consumption of pepper up 30%

on 19 Mac 2010.

KUCHING: Malaysia’s domestic pepper consumption surged by more than 30% to about 6,000 tonnes last year, boosted largely by the increased usage of the spice in the food manufacturing industry.

Malaysian Pepper Board director-general Grunsin Ayom said the jump was a pleasant surprise as it had surpassed the board’s target of raising domestic demand to 5,000 tonnes by this year.

The 2008 domestic consumption was 4,500 tonnes.

“Pepper is increasingly used as a food manufacturing ingredient, such as in meat coatings. This is in line with the development of Malaysia as a halal food hub,” he told StarBiz, adding that the board’s target was to increase domestic consumption to 100,000 tonnes by 2020.

Grunsin Ayom with Malaysia Papper Board’s new products

Grunsin also attributed the growing domestic consumption to the availability of more pepper products, like ready-to-eat sauces, noting that for black pepper sauce alone, there were about 10 brands sold in the market.

More restaurants and eateries have introduced food prepared with pepper, such as black pepper prawns, chicken and beef, according to Grunsin.

He added that the board’s product development unit had come up with new products, like pepper flavoured chocolate, pepper flavoured sago cracker and black pepper marinade for commercial production by the private sector.

“The three new products are already available in the market, although in small quantities,” he said, adding that two local companies were involved in their production. The unit is also exploring a wider application of pepper in the food manufacturing industry, and will look into more non-food applications.

Grunsin said the board was collaborating with four universities – Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Swinburne and Curtin – in undertaking 15 research and development projects for both upstream and downstream industries.

“One of the projects with Unimas and Semenggok Agriculture Research Institute is on tissue culture technology to produce better planting materials.

“We expect results from the study in three years,” he said, adding that another joint project was on the control of pepper pests and diseases.

On the board’s RM3mil grinding plant, the first in South-East Asia which was opened here four years ago, Grunsin said it had been widely used by pepper exporters.

Extracted from The Star Online.

Arkib Berita

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