Japan’s consumer electronics maker Sanyo has launched the world’s first cooker that can turn rice grains into bread — an innovation that it hopes will be a hit across Asia. \nThe machine can mill a cup of rice grains into rice flour, then mixes it with water, gluten, yeast and other ingredients to bake a loaf of bread in four hours, Sanyo Electric said. \nThe machine is named “GOPAN” in Japan — coined from gohan, meaning cooked rice, and pan, Spanish for bread. \nSanyo will start exporting it to other Asian countries next year after its Japanese launch in October. \n“We are eagerly working to export this to other Asian countries, mainly China and Southeast Asia, which share the culture of growing rice,” company spokeswoman Liu Yingying said. \nThe machine would retail for between ¥50,000 and ¥60,000 (US$560 to US$670). \nWheat-free bread is good for people allergic to the grain, Sanyo said, adding that the machine can also operate without using gluten, which is taken from wheat and helps dough to rise. \nSanyo argued that another benefit would be that in Japan the cooker would increase rice consumption and change people’s eating habits, helping to increase the country’s low food self-sufficiency ratio. \nJapan, which is the world’s second-largest economy, now produces only 40 percent of its food and buys almost all its wheat, corn and soy beans from overseas. \nThe country grows enough rice for domestic consumption, thanks to heavy trade protection, but annual consumption of the staple per person has halved since the 1960s as people’s diets have diversified. \nThe market for “home bakery,” or home-use bread making machines, has boomed in Japan in the recent years, with shipments rising 30.7 percent last year from the previous year to 438,000 units, according to industry data.
NINE NEW CASES: The CECC said two locally transmitted cases of COVID-19, and seven imported ones – five women and two men – brought the nation’s total to 348 People who refuse to wear a mask on public transportation after being asked to do so would face a NT$3,000 to NT$15,000 fine, effective immediately, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday after announcing nine additional COVID-19 cases. In a move to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications on Tuesday announced that people must wear masks on trains and intercity buses, while Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, on Tuesday said that people should wear them when they cannot maintain a social distance of 1.5m indoors. Chen yesterday
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The US National Security Council yesterday thanked Taiwan for its support amid the COVID-19 pandemic following President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement that Taiwan would donate 10 million masks to hard-hit countries. The donation includes 2 million masks to the US on top of the weekly 100,000 announced previously; 7 million to Europe; and 1 million to diplomatic allies, on top of 1 million Taiwan procured for allies from their neighboring countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday. After European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed appreciation for the donations, the US body yesterday wrote its thanks on Twitter. “We
TARGETED TEXTS: The center’s head said that visitor numbers at scenic spots were greater than expected and people did not do a very good job of social distancing The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday sent two warning text messages to urge people to practice social distancing, especially by avoiding crowded scenic areas. The two messages were sent at 11:55am on the third day of the four-day Tomb Sweeping Day weekend, reminding people about social distancing and hand hygiene to help prevent COVID-19 infection. “When visiting crowded scenic spots during the Tomb Sweeping Day weekend, please keep a social distance of at least 1.5m indoors and 1m outdoors, wear a mask and wash your hands frequently. Please wear a mask and seek immediate medical attention if you are feeling ill