ROBERT Rich, founder and chairman of Rich Products Corporation, has died, aged 92.

Robert Rich invented the world’s first non-dairy whipped topping, Rich’s Whip Topping, in 1945. Based on soybean, the topping was developed because of the shortage of milk during the war years.

Nevin Montgomery, president and CEO of the National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association in the US, described Robert Rich’s contribution to the frozen food industry as “both monumental and legendary”.

Robert Rich had a strong commitment to educating people and a pledge, made on his 90th birthday, supports four scholarships annually for undergraduate students who pursue careers in the restaurant and foodservice sector.

Rich Products was founded on the invention of the non-dairy topping. The family-owned business will now be led by Bob Rich Jr.