Kitamizuho Ice Cream is born! (Kitamizuho Production Cooperative, President Minoru Nagai) Additive-free ice cream made from Kitamizuho rice grown in Hokuryu Town!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Kitamizuho Production Association (headed by Minoru Nagai) has developed an ice cream using "Kitamizuho" rice produced in Hokuryu Town, which has been served at "Restaurant Himawari" in Hokuryu Town since Monday, February 17, and was presented at school lunches at the local Manryu Elementary School and Hokuryu Middle School on the same day.

Kitamizuho Production Cooperative, Mr. Minoru Nagai (right), Union President, and Mr. Akihiro Adachi (left) Photo courtesy of: Yutaka Sano, Mayor of Hokuryu Town Activity Report Facebook page

Kita Mizuho is high-amylose rice that can be made into "rice gel

Kita Mizuho" was registered as a variety in 2012. It is a high-amylose rice (amylose content of about 30%) suitable for processing and can be made into "rice gel". Rice gel" is made by cooking high-amylose rice with water added to the grains, allowing the rice to glue together, and then shearing and agitating the rice at high speed.

Kitazuisui ice cream without any additives

The rice gel production process is characterized by the ability to control a wide range of physical properties, from soft jellies to puddings to highly elastic rubbery products, by adjusting the moisture content and other factors. The rice gelatinization of high-amylose rice "Kitamizuho" produces smooth ice cream that does not melt easily!

Kitamizuho ice cream is made with only rice, milk, and sugar, and contains no stabilizers, emulsifiers, or other additives. This is the first attempt in Hokkaido to develop a rice gel gelade using "Kitamizuho.

Minoru Nagai, President, Kitamizuho Production Cooperative

We took time out of our busy schedule to speak with Minoru Nagai, 42, head of the Kitamizuho Production Association, about the development of Kitamizuho ice cream.

Mr. Nagai talking about Kitamizuho

Encounter with Kitamizuho

Five or six years ago, a machinery company in Shibetsu Town told me, 'We have such an interesting rice product! Are you interested?' At first, he immediately replied, "I'm busy, so I'm not interested! Mr. Nagai immediately replied, "I'm busy, so I'm not interested.

I was not listening at the time, but I was somewhat fascinated and asked the Sorachi Agricultural Extension Center, "Do you know this kind of rice? But the answer came back, "I don't know! I was so fascinated that I asked the Sorachi Agricultural Extension Center if they knew of such rice. At the time, this rice was still unknown to the public.

So, I asked him to check at the test center, and it happened to turn out that there was a person who was involved in the Kitamizuho breeding and that the Hokkaido Agricultural Research Center handled the seeds.

Hand planting, hand harvesting, sun drying, threshing, and milling into brown rice

Mr. Nagai purchased about 3 kg of Kitamizuho seeds and tried his own experimental cultivation. At first, he did everything by hand: planting by hand, harvesting by hand, drying in the sun, threshing, hulling, and milling the rice into brown rice.

Processed into rice flour

Since that time, there has been talk of using it as rice flour. Even today, we are milling Kitamizuho into rice flour for use in a variety of confections, as well as for the production of sake, koji, and other processed products.

Only a few varieties of rice dedicated to rice flour are available in Japan

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) has announced three rice varieties for rice flour: No. 1 (for confectionery and cooking), No. 2 (for bread), and No. 3 (for noodles). Hokumizuho belongs to the No. 3 variety and has a high amylose content, making it suitable for making pasta and other firm noodles. It has excellent cold tolerance and is best grown in Hokkaido.

Reference page
interpoint (interword separation)Information on rice flour, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan/Non-gluten and application-specific standards//Characteristics of Major Rice Varieties for Rice Flour Applications (PDF)

About the days of trial and error.

Kitamizuho Production Association established: January 2019

(Hokuryu-machi), which led to the establishment of the Kitamizuho Production Cooperative in January 2019. The cooperative is currently made up of two households, headed by Minoru Nagai and Akihiro Adachi.

Akihiro Adachi worked at a rice store before becoming a farmer. After two years as a trainee at Ryuunishi Farm, he was promoted to a member and started as a farmer. Two years later, he became a director of the corporation.

The company is working to secure and train human resources from outside the company, and is also engaged in miso and koji processing during the winter months, while rice is the mainstay of the farming industry. In addition, the company is promoting the provision of raw materials for processing sake and other products through tie-ups with manufacturers.

Mr. Adachi has extensive knowledge of rice distribution and sales, so the development of manufacturing and sales partners related to rice and sake progressed rapidly. Last year, in November 2019, Niseko, a pure sake made from Hokuryu Town's Hokuzuho rice, was test-brewed and sold.

Reference page
interpoint (interword separation)Hokkaido Government/Examples of Young Farmers in Hokkaido: Stories of Young Farmers in Hokkaido Paving the Way to Realize Their Dreams, Akihiro Adachi, Representative Director, Ryusai Farm Co.

Challenge to make rice gel and ice cream using Kitamizuho

With the cooperation of Iwamizawa Agricultural Extension Center, we challenged ourselves to make rice gelatinization and ice cream from Kita Mizuho! We learned how to make ice cream from a dairy farmer in Tohoku, and made many prototypes.

The final taste of Kitamizuho Ice Cream was decided after tasting by Mr. and Mrs. Nagai, Mr. and Mrs. Adachi, the Agricultural Extension Center, the Agricultural Cooperative Association, and others involved.

U.S. GER enters into a patent technology and license agreement.

Rice Gel" is a patented technology for a new food material developed through research by the National Food Research Institute of the National Institute of Agro-Environmental Sciences (Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture). Kitamizuho Production Association has signed a license agreement with the institute.

Regional Industrial Cluster Manufacturing Support Project

The project is subsidized by the Hokkaido Science and Technology Promotion Center's "Regional Industrial Cluster Manufacturing Support Program" (500,000 yen, or two-thirds of the development cost).

Features of Rice Gel Ice Cream

  1. Hokusui Rice Gel is made from milk porridge cooked with milk, which is sheared and agitated at high speed to form a gel, and then agitated in an ice cream machine while adding sugar to make ice cream!
  2. Rice gel gelato is hard to dissolve and hard to sag. High water retention property, hard to release water, and keeps well for a long time.
  3. The softness changes from jelly-like to rubbery by adjusting the amount of water added. Furthermore, the texture of ice cream changes depending on the storage temperature. The best time to eat ice cream is around minus 13 degrees Celsius.
Kitazui ice cream" in the form unveiled at lunch time at elementary and junior high schools

Now available at Restaurant Mukohiwa (Hokuryu-cho)

Currently, it is being offered on the dessert menu at Mukohiwa, a restaurant. The ice cream is kept at about -13 degrees Celsius, the optimal temperature for ice cream, and topped with Kitamizuho puffs.

Ice cream topped with Kitazui Puff!
Menu offerings

Possibility of using rice flour for allergy countermeasures such as gluten-free

Mr. Nagai smiles as he talks about his future prospects.

We are currently looking into ways to preserve our ice cream. We would like to find out at what temperature we can keep the ice cream for optimal preservation and how we can keep it tasty, and we would like to expand Kitazuisuiho Ice Cream nationwide.

In the future, new development of rice will be required, such as the demand for rice flour to replace wheat flour and the possibility of using rice flour as an anti-allergy measure, such as gluten-free rice flour.

I think it is a waste to use surplus rice for processed products, so as a rice production area in Hokuryu-cho, Hokkaido, we would like to actively promote the cultivation of 'Hokumizuho' as rice for processing," said Mr. Nagai emphatically.

Contact: Kitamizuho Production Association

Minoru Nagai, Union President Tel: 080-3234-5981

北瑞穂生産組合・永井稔 組合長
Minoru Nagai, President, Kitamizuho Production Cooperative

Kita Mizuho" is a high-amylose rice that changes its appearance depending on the moisture content and is very successful,
To the further development of the Kitazuho Production Cooperative, which lovingly cultivates this great Hokuryu-machi rice, "Kitazuho,
With infinite respect, gratitude and prayers.

Praying for the continued development of the Kitamizuho Production Association.

Related Articles and Websites

<Hokuryu Town Residents Minoru Nagai
. MIHO's Kuro Sengoku Cooking

interpoint (interword separation)Dining Mukohi homepage//instagram

◇ Photography and Editing: Noboru Terauchi Reporting and Writing: Ikuko Terauchi