Aussie company develops breakthrough healthier noodle formula

Australian company Holista CollTech and US-based Holista Foods have developed a noodle formula with a low Glycemic Index, which may help fight obesity.

The noodles developed by Holista’s Buffalo, New York-based U.S. subsidiary of Holista Foods Inc., recorded a GI reading of 38 in independent tests conducted by Glycemic Index Laboratories, Inc, Toronto, Canada. The global average GI reading for noodles is 60.

The GI reading indicates the rate in which foods containing carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels in humans, with a lower score indicating healthier food. More than 100 million adult Americans suffer from diabetes or prediabetes, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 11 million Canadians are living with the disease.

The Diabetes Canada has endorsed Holista Foods’ low-GI noodle formula as having met the latter’s dietary guidelines. Holista Foods is allowed to display the Diabetes Canada logo on its product.

In addition to the low GI reading of 38, each 85 gram serving of noodles contains 11 grams of protein, three grams of fibre, zero sugar, low sodium, low cholesterol and clean label ingredients (no artificial ingredients or preservatives) and cooks in just three minutes.

Holista Foods will showcase the low-GI noodles at the 2017 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo in Chicago, Illinois, from October 21-24, and at the 2017 Diabetes Canada/CSEM Professional Conference in Edmonton, Alberta, from November 1-4.

According to market research group Statista, nearly half the world’s wheat is consumed as noodles, with China and Indonesia topping the list while a quarter is consumed as bread. The U.S. noodle market is worth US$270 million. The World Instant Noodles Association reports that global demand for instant noodles has declined from 106 billion servings in 2013 to 97.5 billion servings in 2016 as consumers continue to reduce the amount of processed foods, especially carbohydrates, from their diet.

The availability of low-GI noodles will provide consumers with a healthier option that does not compromise the taste and texture of the product. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit report on “Tackling obesity in ASEAN (South-East Asian Nations)”, a low-GI diet was found to be the most effective among food-based interventions.

Holista Foods, headed by CEO, Ms Nadja Piatka, who has supplied healthier baked goods to major fast-food chains such as McDonald’s and Subway, had announced in September 2016 its research efforts to develop the world’s first low-GI noodles using Holista’s low-GI ingredient, a patented formula that includes extracts of okra, dhal (lentils), barley and fenugreek.

Holista, a research-driven biotechnology and food ingredients company with operations in Australia and Malaysia, said it expects to conclude the first order for its low-GI noodles by November 2017.

In January 2016 Holista unveiled PANATURA(R)GI a patented formula co-developed with Veripan AG of Switzerland that achieved the world’s lowest GI reading for clean-label flour-based bread. This product is in the late stage of commercialisation.

Holista Foods is also researching to develop low-GI mixes for muffins, cakes, cookies and pancakes. Holista has also commenced research on a low-GI formula for sugar.

 

Maggi noodles get a Morogo makeover

A new variety of Maggi noodles is using a common plant that some people dismiss as a weed. 

‘Morogo’ or ‘South African spinach’ refers to different varieties of green leafy vegetable that grow wild in South Africa, and a popular dish of the same name. 

Traditionally, these vegetables formed a much-loved part of the nation’s diet, but urbanisation and changing attitudes to food in the countryside have led to a decline in their popularity.

Much as Europeans have traditionally foraged for mushrooms, generations of South Africans have gathered morogo (which is high in protein, vitamins and minerals), to fry, boil or steam, and serve with onions or tomatoes.

In its new format, morogo is causing a stir on South African supermarket shelves. Until today it has never been farmed on a serious commercial scale, but now Nestlé is using morogo in the ‘tastemaker’ sachet used to flavour and fortify its Maggi noodles.

“Many packaged food brands claim to cater for local tastes, but Maggi with morogo genuinely does so. We’re offering people an authentic taste of South Africa and bringing a nutritious ingredient to urban dwellers, in particular, through a product that is quick and easy to prepare,” said Maarit Rein, a scientist working at Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The new Nestlé noodles developed out of a partnership with South Africa’s Council for Scientific Investigation and Research (CSIR) and Agricultural Research Council (ARC) from 2012, to research plants growing there with clear health benefits, for potential use in foods to improve the nation’s diet.

Taste, nutritional quality and abundance were three things that the scientists were looking for in an ingredient. It had to be possible to process it for use in a food product, and it was vital that the ingredient provide farmers with an income source. Crucially, it also had to appeal to millions of South Africans.

Nestlé and its partners decided to research three species of morogo – amaranthus, cow pea and cleome – and worked closely with farmers to perfect their cultivation, and to refine the plants into a powder that preserved their nutritional benefits.

Nestlé’s consumer research also showed that Morogo’s distinctive ‘South African taste’ is integral to its appeal across all ethnicities and income groups.

But it’s not just the taste that appeals, as Rein explained: “Using such a healthy ingredient is consistent with Nestlé’s commitment as a responsible company to promote vegetable consumption.”

Maggi noodles with real morogo are now being produced at Nestlé’s factory in Babelegi, north of Pretoria. If the launch proves successful, then Nestlé will work with farmers and the government, to develop the morogo supply chain and create lasting social value in South Africa.

“This remains our long-term goal,” says Rein. “But I’m proud of what Nestlé and our partners have already achieved with morogo over the past three years.”

Nestlé opens new beverages factory and noodle line in Malaysia

Nestlé has invested approximately $AUD122 million in a new beverages factory and noodle line in Malaysia. Both facilities are located in Nestlé’s largest manufacturing site in the country, in the city of Shah Alam, which employs close to half of Nestlé Malaysia’s workforce.

The new factory, which cost $AUD 93 million, is Nestlé’s eighth in Malaysia. It will produce Ready-To-Drink products, including Milo, Nescafé and Nestlé Omega Plus, for which Nestlé is seeing rising demand. 

Building on Maggi noodle’s growing popularity in the country, where 1.7 million single packs of the product are sold every day, 

Nestlé has also invested around $AUD 30 million in a new high-capacity noodle line to produce Maggi Curry Noodles, a favourite among Malaysian consumers. 

Over the past two years, Nestlé has invested more than $AUD192 million as part of its long-term growth strategy in Malaysia.