The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) has produced a new concept of snack food with high commercial potential made from red palm oil.
Director-general Dr Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir said the extruded snack food has already been commercialised in China, and this could further increase China’s demand for palm oil.
“This red palm-based snack is suitable for sale as a premium product in China where the population is health-conscious.
“The extruded snack can also reduce the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency among children as it is enriched with nutrients and pro-vitamin A, ” Ahmad Parveez said in a statement yesterday.
Snack food is an emerging market in China and it was valued at US$3.08 trillion (RM12.5 trillion) in 2019. Extruded snacks are popular there, generating annual sales of US$30.4bil (RM123bil) with 5.1 million tonnes of production in 2018. The people there are fond of extruded snacks and are also inclined to buy food products that have health benefits.
According to reports, as many as four million tonnes of extruded snacks are consumed by the Chinese population every year.
However, most of the extruded snacks in China are made using synthetic colourant and animal fats.
“Therefore, MPOB researches have produced an innovation that uses red palm oil to replace synthetic colourant and animal fats in the extruded snacks, ” he said.
Ahmad Parveez also said that MPOB, in collaboration with Shanghai University and one of the largest snack producers in China, had conducted research to produce the red palm oil-based extruded snack since July 2018.
He said the formulation has been well-received as it is rich in nutrients, natural carotene and free from synthetic colourant.
“Local manufacturers, especially small and medium entrepreneurs, are encouraged to commercialise this innovative technology because the healthy snack has great market potential, ” he added. — Bernama