Wing’s will test Holista’s bakery ingredient, Panatura GI, which has achieved the world’s lowest clean-label GI reading for white bread, for use in the noodles. Holista, meanwhile, will provide expertise on the application of its formula.
The product will then be independently tested at GI-Labs, a nutrition research organisation in Toronto. Once it is validated, Wing’s and Holista will enter a commercial agreement to manufacture and distribute the low-GI noodles across North America.
“Using our experience in the low-GI market, we are confident that we can crack the next frontier: noodles,” said Rajen Manicka, Holista’s chief executive.
Based in Ontario and Alberta, Canada, Wing’s has supplied noodles to the North American market since 1953.
According to market research group Statista, almost 50% of the world’s wheat is consumed as noodles, though only a quarter is made into bread. led by China and Indonesia lead the world noodles market.
In 2015 the global demand for instant noodles amounted to 103.58bn servings. In the United States alone, the noodle market is worth US$270m.
Panatura GI, which was developed by Holista in partnership with Veripan of Switzerland, is a breakthrough natural formula which, when added to white flour, dramatically reduces blood sugar levels without changing the taste or texture of the final product.
It recorded a GI reading of 53 in tests at a leading university in Sydney, the lowest-ever recorded for a “clean-label” white bread.
Holista also achieved a GI reading of 48 for muffins—again, the lowest clean-label reading for this category—at GI Labs. The same low-GI formula will be used as the base for the proposed low-GI noodles.
The partnership with Wing’s is the first major collaboration for Holista Foods, a US joint-venture company set-up between Holista and Nadja Foods.
Nadja Piatka, chief executive of Holista Foods, said that it was essential to tackle major refined carbohydrates to address a global pandemic of obesity and diabetes.
“In terms of wheat consumption, individuals are eating more noodles, especially the instant variety. We are committed to working with Wing’s to provide a healthier alternative to empower consumers with better choices,” she added.
Piatka’s Wing’s counterpart, Neal Lee, said the company was excited to be working with “a company that is on the cutting-edge of the low-GI movement.
“North American consumers are becoming more accustomed to Asian tastes and the noodle business is growing steadily from year to year. There is strong demand for a low-GI noodle product and we believe it will have a meaningful impact on consumers here,” said Lee.