The Cornucopia with Panner Line in Action
Aiming for Both Deliciousness and Health Consciousness
Maisen Fine Foods Co., Ltd. (JAPAN)
Sabae City in Fukui Prefecture is known for its eyeglass frames. In the tranquil countryside of Sabae lies Maisen Fine Foods, which manufactures and sells processed foods made primarily from brown rice.
With the exception of soybeans and almonds, the factory does not use any specific allergenic ingredients and produces a variety of gluten and allergy-free healthy foods. Among these is its Delicious Brown Rice Round Bread, which lasts up to two months and becomes fluffy and chewy when heated in a microwave. This product has attracted attention for being a type of bread that anyone can enjoy, regardless of any allergies they might have.
Spreading the Appeal of Brown Rice
Maisen Fine Foods was established in 2014 as a subsidiary of Meissen Co., Ltd., the first agricultural production corporation in Fukui Prefecture. In 2019, it became a member of the Kameda Seika Co., Ltd.’s business group. Maisen Fine Foods’ sales have been steadily increasing, primarily through e-commerce, wholesale, and manufacture by commissioning. We asked President Murai about the company’s commitment and strategy.
“Brown rice is a healthy food with high nutritional value and a low glycemic index (GI). The founder of the company focused on these attractive aspects of brown rice and developed breads and sweets so that people can enjoy the rich nutrients in more convenient forms. We use 100% domestic brown rice flour, so it is completely gluten free.” During our interview, he recommended that we try the Delicious Brown Rice Round Bread.
After sampling the product, the president delved into the product’s success. “It’s hard to believe that this is a gluten-free product, isn’t it? Our products become springy when heated in the microwave. “Starchy products age quickly, so the most difficult part of the development process was figuring out how to make a product that has a long shelf life while tasting good. To maintain the quality of the product, we adjusted the combination and ratios of the ingredients.” .
Surprisingly, the company’s products are also completely free of egg and dairy products. It was not long before they garnered attention for their high quality and delicious taste, and they are now sold at consumers’ cooperatives and about 700 major supermarkets nationwide. The company has received many letters from people suffering from allergies who express gratitude for being able to enjoy these delicious products safely.
Improving Quality and Production Efficiency with Rheon Machine
To produce Maisen Fine Foods’ popular items, the company uses a line that consists of Rheon’s Cornucopia CN580 (Japanese model) connected to the Set Panner arranging machine. The line operates four to six hours a day, producing six different products on a daily rotation. At the time of the interview, about 9,000 servings of Delicious Brown Rice Sweet Bean Paste Bread were being produced.
“Bread accounts for 90% of our production. Our bread dough does not contain gluten, which forms the backbone of dough, so it is difficult to hold together and ends up breaking into pieces. If the dough is too hard, it won’t expand, and if it is too soft, it won’t hold together, making it very difficult to shape. While it is bread dough, its physical properties are similar to those of baked sweets. That’s why it works well with the Cornucopia, which is very good at producing pastries. I think this is the only machine that can divide such a sticky dough neatly into fixed portions. A normal bread machine can’t do that,” explained Hiratsuka, manager of the Production Department.
“Also, the Set Panner is essential because the product is very soft. It’s hygienic because there’s no human contact, and it preserves the shape because there are no finger marks from picking up the product. Before we started using the Set Panner, we could only produce 30 batches a day, but now we can produce up to 60 batches a day, and we’ve reduced our staff by two people. It has been a great help,” he said.
Eat Well and Be Healthy
Regarding future prospects, President Murai said, “The number of food allergy patients in Japan is increasing every year as diets become more diverse, and potential demand is said to be over 5%. We want not only to help those with allergies, but also to encourage healthy individuals to choose delicious, healthy foods and enjoy eating them. Having established this as the goal for every group company, we will address the domestic market, where there are likely to be difficulties owing to the declining and aging population.
In addition, since gluten-free products have higher demand overseas, we would like to expand the market to the rest of the world by utilizing the Kameda Business Group’s global network.”
Every day, Maisen Fine Foods does its best to achieve both deliciousness and health. It will continue to make great strides in its efforts to improve people’s wellbeing through food.