Riceland Test Markets Fish-Fry Oil

While conversing with Stuttgart's Riceland Foods Inc., Whispers learned about a new product coming next month from the state's largest rice producer.

It's something you may not have expected: rice bran oil for fish frying.

"Fishing and frying fish is both a sport and a hobby in Arkansas," said Bill Reed, vice president of corporate communications for Riceland.

Reed said the oil can heat to 490 degrees Fahrenheit, or 50 degrees hotter than soybean oil. Rice oil is frequently touted for health benefits and flavor, but is used mostly in Asian countries. Reed said Riceland decided to market the oil as a seasonal item in collaboration with a company, which Reed did not identify, that sells fish fryers.

Riceland will begin test marketing the oil June 1 at Mayflower Foods stores in Stuttgart, Carlisle and Searcy; Lumber 1 Home Center and Mack's Prairie Wings in Stuttgart; Edwards Food Giant in Bryant and Forrest City; and Riceland's central stores and website. It will cost about $10 per gallon jug.