• Kyodo

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Panasonic Corp.’s India subsidiary has begun selling fully automatic washing machines with a specialized setting to remove curry stains, the company said.

With the unique feature, a first in India, Panasonic India hopes to expand its share in the growing market.

Although Panasonic already sells washing machines in India, consumers had complained that persistent curry stains could not be completely removed with common detergents. So the manufacturer began developing a new and improved product.

It tapped Indian cuisine experts to analyze the ingredients of curry dishes in each region, and then set up a Japan-India team that spent about two years studying water temperature, water flow and washing times suitable for removing curry and other stains.

The price of the new washer is about 22,000 to 28,500 rupees (¥36,500 to ¥47,700), about 10 percent higher than a conventional washing machine.

Including the curry removal feature, it has five cycles corresponding to stains unique to India, including hair oil.

The penetration rate for washing machines in India is as low as 10 percent. While curry is popular in Japan, the new washer is not expected to be sold there.

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