Home Smart 100 2011 The KhaoLarmAtorium (SMART 100)

The KhaoLarmAtorium (SMART 100)


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The following SMART 100 profile and the information it contains is a duplication of content submitted by the applicant during the entry process. As a function of entry, applicants were required to declare that all details are factually correct, do not infringe on another’s intellectual property and are not unlawful, threatening, defamatory, invasive of privacy, obscene, or otherwise objectionable. Some profiles have been edited for reasons of space and clarity. More about the SMART 100.

The KhaoLarmAtorium

This innovation initially came to life when…

I became fascinated by Khao Larm when living in Taiwan. The Aborigines sell it there, calling it ‘Zoo Tong Fen’. I wanted to try my own recipes in it, but never saw it being prepared. Moving to Thailand, I am fortunate to have a neighbour, a lovely old lady we call Yai Yu (Aunty Yu), who prepares Khao Larm by the traditional method.

Having observed Yai Yu making Khao Larm by the traditional method for some years, I wanted to use my industrial design and ethnotechnology studies to solve some of the apparent problems.

The KhaoLarmAtorium solves those problems.


The purpose of this innovation is to…

Reduce CO2 & smoke pollution in Southeast Asian villages, by providing a simple and cost-effective means of cooking Khao Larm, a delicious dessert. Innovation will greatly reduce cooks’ workload, and personal exposure to smoke and heat, for better health.

It does this by…

…making Khao Larm cooker using inexpensive and readily obtainable materials; an enclosed, thermally efficient cooker, instead of an inefficient open fire. The KhaoLarmAtorium’s heavy-duty steel frame carries two stainless steel trays, on which a large capacity of Khao Larm can be cooked. A 200 litre drum ‘wraps’ the cooker, which is itself wrapped in Alfoil for very high thermal efficiency.


This innovation improves on what came before because…

  • Fuel consumption is approx. 1% of traditional (1.8kg vs 225kg).
  • Smoke, ash & CO2 now negligible.
  • Cook’s workload greatly reduced — cook can now prepare second load, while cooking first.
  • Product more hygienic.
  • Cook’s exposure to pollution greatly reduced, for better health.
  • Small area required, and can be done indoors or out, all kinds of weather, day and night.

Its various benefits to the customer/end-user include…

  • Better product quality due to more consistent cooking.
  • More reliable supply as unaffected by weather or day/night.
  • Daily supply possible, vs. every 2-3 days with traditional method.
  • Possibility of price reduction, due to reduced preparation costs.


In the past, this problem was solved by…

Traditionally (thousands of years?) Khao Larm has been cooked in an open fire. Some attempts have been made to cook inside a steel box, but designers base this cooking on traditional radiative thermal transfer, instead of relying on convection and conduction. Steel boxes to date have low thermal efficiency as no attempt made to reduce radiative losses and hot spots.

Its predecessors/competitors include…

  1. Traditional method — dirty, lots of fuel used, very labor-intensive.
  2. Steel box — large and heavy, better thermal efficiency than traditional, but not perfect. Large radiative losses and hot/cold spots mean uneven cooking.


It is made for…

Most villages and towns in Southeast Asia. Khao Larm is a special treat, its smoky caramelised flavour making it very tasty. So it is very popular. The KhaoLarmAtorium will produce a better quality product more easily, so it can become more popular. We will also introduce savoury recipes with an emphasis on good health, e.g. brown rice with raisins, brown rice with spinach and cheese. A greater product range. We anticipate that local government and NGOs will support its introduction. It could even be made in cities, not possible with the traditional cooking method.


It is available for sale through…

Initially supplying direct, by word of mouth. As soon as production is fine tuned we will sell online, with multilingual website and NGOs such as the PDA of Thailand. Then we will sell internationally, with manufacturers in each Southeast Asian country.

Our marketing strategy is to…

We will supply boxed kits; cooks can source drums locally.

However, our goal is not wealth but preventing pollution (esp. CO2) and smoke and ash in villages. We want to get this out to as many as possible. We will pursue IP protection, but if a sponsor is found we will publish the design on the internet ‘opening’ it.



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