Panasonic Corp will release a new model of the "Gopan," a cooking machine that makes a bread from rice, Dec 15, 2011, in Japan.
As of the end of September 2011, a total of 160,000 units of the Gopan had been sold in Japan since its release in November 2010.
For the new model, "SD-RBM1000," Panasonic added two processes for bread making. The first model uses one process for making rice paste, mixing it with gluten and yeast and kneading it. But the new model uses two processes. In the former process, the paste is kneaded at low speeds. And it is kneaded at higher speeds in the latter process. As a result, the paste can be extended more, the company said.
Moreover, in the process of fermenting the kneaded paste, Panasonic added a process of discharging gas so that it becomes possible to make a rice bread with more homogeneous texture (air bubbles).
The time it takes for the new model to make a bread is about four hours, which is almost the same as before.
This time, Panasonic added a function to make a bread by using cold steamed rice and flour. Up to 200g of steamed rice can be used at a time. By adjusting the amount of steamed rice, it is possible to change the sweetness intensity, flavor and texture of bread.
For the new model, Panasonic changed the structure of the mill that grinds rice grains. Specifically, the company moved the location of the hole that rice comes through from the lateral side of the mill to the upper side of it so that the flow of rice is improved. Because the same grinding performance can be realized with a low revolution, the noise of the mill was reduced from about 65dB to about 60dB, the company said.
Furthermore, Panasonic applied fluorine coating to the case that automatically pours in gluten and yeast. And it improved the hardness of the inside of the main body (the case for rice bread) by changing fluorine coating method.
Though there is no manufacturer's suggested retail price, the retail price of the new Gopan is expected to be about ¥50,000 (approx US$652), which is equivalent to the retail price of the first model. It will be produced at a rate of 20,000 units per month at a plant in China and a plant of Sanyo Consumer Electronics Co Ltd.