Amid high prices in some of the country's key commodities such as soybeans and rice, Industry Minister Fahmi Idris said Wednesday it was time for Indonesians to consume alternative commodities such as corn, cassava and other types of beans on a daily basis.
Fahmi said he had asked the food industry to produce more foods from such alternative commodities.
"It is time to reintroduce these alternative foods nationwide. We should not rely on one type of food only, for example rice, as our basic food," Fahmi said during the opening of an exhibition on alternative foods and their supporting technologies.
He said corn and cassava could substitute for rice, while koro beans could substitute for soybeans to produce tempeh.
"But for now, the ingredients to produce tempeh are still mixed, some 40 percent is koro bean while the remainder is soybean," he added.
Instant and small-thin noodles that use wheat flour as their main ingredient, Fahmi said, could now also be substituted with corn essence.
"We've found new basic commodities," said Fahmi. "The next thing is how to produce foods of good quality to meet people's tastes. Consumer taste is the key to successfully promoting these new commodities."
A pioneer of corn-based noodles in Indonesia, PT Subafood Pangan Jaya, produces instant and thin-small noodles to give the public alternative basic foods.
Promotion supervisor Agus Sujarwo told The Jakarta Post at the exhibition that the company has manufactured noodles made from corn essence since 2004.
Currently, the company's daily production reaches 3 tons of noodles.
Agus said that although the company's production capacity was small compared to big players like Indofood, Subafood's products were distributed nationwide. (nkn)