Thailand's Booming Food Export Business is Something to Behold

Food Processing's News And Trends Editor takes on food safety and new food products at Thaifex 2009.

By Diane Toops, News & Trends Editor

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Several Thai people told me the most popular brand of mangosteen juice in Thailand is Mung Koot from Tako Foods Industry Co. Ltd. Tako also produces 100 percent mangosteen juice under the NatureXan Gold brand, 90 percent mangosteen juice blended with grape and lemon under the NatureXan brand and 80 percent mangosteen juice blended with apple, pomegranate, lemon and blueberry under the NatureXan Silver brand.

Energy drinks are popular everywhere, and one of the most intriguing is Emu Energy Ltd.’s Hang Original and Hang Foreplay, which are said to prevent a hangover because of the benefits of more than 20 natural herbs. The idea is the drink Hang before and after alcohol for best results. You might not know that Red Bull originally was a Thai drink (Krating Daeng is actually a “red water buffalo” and the logo is exactly the same). In 1987, Austrian businessman Dietrich Mateschitz made a deal to introduce the product worldwide, and tweaked the formula (taste and carbonation). The original Thai company owns 52 percent of the new Red Bull, which is based in Austria.

On the main menu

For authentic Thai Curry Paste, Nature Spice Co. Ltd. has a delicious line of Khun Shine instant pastes including Red Curry Paste, Panang Curry Paste, Masaman Curry Paste, Green Curry Paste, Yellow Curry Paste and Chilli Paste in Oil. I was fascinated by the claim which states “Main ingredients of our curry paste are chilli, shallots, garlic, galangal, lemongrass and leech lime. These fresh herbs and spices are effective in balancing the body, lowering cholesterol level, helping you to have good appetite, also being carminative, anti-bacteria, may reduce the risk of cancer. And these can surely keep you in good health.”

Tom Yum curry soup is the most popular soup in Thailand, and Theppadungporn Coconut Co. Ltd. has a delicious line of canned curry soups for convenience-driven consumers.

M&R Laboratory Co. Ltd. produces a line of crispy flours with flavor. Its GOGI seasoning Tempura Flour contains Hot Spice 2 in 1 Garlic Pepper, and it’s great for consumers and foodservice – no guesswork here. K J C Interfood Co. Ltd. manufactures Ka-I-so Noodle from Seaweed Extract, perfect for salads, soups and desserts, and Zen Thai Marketing Co. Ltd. distributes Zen Thai Rice Vermicelli, which is all natural, wheat-free, gluten-free, cholesterol-free and fat-free. Kanom Mae Oey-Pley & Pie provides organic fillings for the bakery industry including Grean Bean Paste, Red Bean Pastes, Black Bean Pastes, Tar Paste and Sesame Pastes.

Coconut is one of the most important ingredients in Thai cuisine. Chef’s Choice Foods Manufacturer Co. Ltd. was established in 1978 as the first manufacturer of canned coconut milk in Thailand. Among its many products are Coconut Juice with Meat, Coconut Juice with Pulp and Coconut Jelly in water/Syrup and flavors.

Creative salad dressings from Pure Foods Co. Ltd. include No cholesterol (Calcium Plus), Greentea Lemon (Calcium Plus), Mint Yoghurt, Soy Sauce Japanese, and Sesame.

Agronegar Ltd. makes fermented antioxidant-rich My Garden Natural Corn Cider Vinegar from non-GMO corn utilizing German technology under strict international standards. How do they do it? The company ferments fresh corn into wine then converts it to vinegar.

Snack attack

Mae-Ruay Snack Food Factory Co. Ltd. certainly has some unique flavors for its Koh-Kae peanuts. They include: Coconut Cream, Chicken, Coffee, Shrimp, Thai Tom Yum Spicy and Nori-Wasabi. In Indonesia, koe-kae means “a rich man,” and Koe-Kae products account for 80 percent of peanut snacks sold in Thailand and 9 percent of the total shares in the snack food market.

If macadamias are your preference, Heritage Snacks & Foods Co. Ltd. would like to introduce you to Nut Walker Green Tea Wasabi Macadamias, nitrogen flushed to maintain freshness. The company also has a line of Nature’s Sensation Tropicals & Exotics (great name) dried fruits – Mango, Banana, Sweetened Ginger, Mixed Fruits, Rambutan and Pineapple -- from the prime growing regions around the world, and Fruit of the Himalayas – Crispy Goji Berries and Fruit of the Silk Road – Figs, Large Green Raisins, Large Black Raisins, and Dates.

With 25 percent less fat than regular potato chips and gluten-free, Papa Cassava Chips are available in six flavors – Original, Smoky BBQ, Hot & Spicy, Black Pepper, Cheese, and Pizza from San SeSan Global.

As low-carb foods gain in popularity, it is not surprising that Pattera Sophon Intertrade Co. Ltd. enjoys great success with its Ko No Mi Crispy Seaweed Snacks, available in Classic and Hot and Spicy. Crispy Mango Chips, Jackfruit Chips, Banana Chips, Pineapple Chips, and Durian chips from Thaitan Foods International Co. Ltd. are an ideal healthy snack, as is a can of Pepper Garlic Green Peas in a can from Heritage Snacks & Foods Co. Ltd. Chocolate coated Pumpkin Seeds flavored with Green Tea from Carafe Co. Ltd. might be your bliss, or Cheese Packed Core Fish Strands, from Big Kitchen Co. Ltd., are a unique snack that tastes like pizza.

Thammasang Interfruits produces fresh and frozen Durian, Lychee, Longan, Mangosteen, Young Coconut, Rambutan, Sweet Tamarind, Pomelo and Sweet Honey Oranges, which have a green outer peel, yet a sweet orange flavor. Or those with a sweet tooth might enjoy a delicious soft candy from SMSC, a pocketsize fat-free Mango Sheet or mango leather, a thin roll of pure mango for on-the-go consumers and children. Another popular sweet in Thailand is Tamarind House’s Tamarind Soft Candy. A combination of sweet tamarind, a tropical fruit said to aid digestion, and plum powder, it is manufactured by Sweet Bee Farm Co. Ltd.

Dessert with meanings

Bean Cakes are considered a wonderful gift for very important people. They differ regionally, and are made from a variety beans, sesame, pumpkin, water lily seeds, whole wheat and pearl barley. They are believed to lead to prosperity and revitalization, according to bean cake maker Kanom Mae Oey.

Banana represents business prosperity, durian stands for vigor and strength, jackfruit is associated with compassion, longan represents the eyes of a dragon, or influence, pineapple is a symbol of wisdom, intellect and talent, lychee means wealth and honor, strawberries mean warmth, love and kindness, chocolate represents creativity and inspiration and bale fruit is believed to bring about popularity.

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