IP-focused AgTech specialist shoots for gold standard in the sprouted grains market with Awakened Flour
British Columbia-headquartered AgriForce specialises in commercialising intellectual property (IP)-driven breakthroughs that redefine nutrition and taste. un(Think) Foods – a subsidiary of AgriForce – leverages natural science to help regular grains, pulses and root vegetables become flour-based products that offer superior nutrition, without compromising the essential trio: taste, texture and quality.
Awakened Flour is AgriForce’s first step in bringing to market a series of standout products under the un(Think) Food brand, with pancake mixes, breads and pasta, among other items, currently in development.
Rethinking the usual methods
Wheat accounts for 20% of worldwide caloric consumption, with flour and bakery products representing a $200bn market in the US alone. However, many wheat-based products are lacking in nutrition or are not aligned with consumer preferences for low carb and high protein alternatives.
“We asked ourselves ‘What if wheat could give you all the nutrition without the elements that are not as good for you?’ … and realised the key to making that happen lies in the way we process grains, so we decided to un(Think) the usual methods, something no one else has done before,” said Mauro Pennella, AgriForce’s president of Brands.
“un(Think) Foods is bringing a much-desired product to a market eager for healthier, natural alternatives to traditional flours. Our first launch is a steppingstone to continued growth of the brand.”
The flour is made using a 100% natural patent-pending process, which allows precise precision in germinating wheat. This is done by utilising carefully monitored humidity and temperature to activate the product’s enzymes at the ideal time, maximising the nutritional elements of sprouted grains. However, the wheat isn’t allowed to sprout completely, meaning – when milled into flour – can be used in breads, as well as products like pastries and pasta.
According to AgriForce, one in three consumers feel they have to compromise taste, texture or quality all or most of the time they buy a healthier bakery product. This jumps to almost 50% when you ask Millennials.
The supremacy of sprouted
“Scientific evidence shows that sprouted grains are more nutritious and easily digested than traditional grains, and we’ve had the opportunity to layer this with our proprietary process to create a gold standard for the sprouted grains market,” said Hernando Ruiz-Jimenez, GM of un(Think) Food.
“Our highly precise sprouting process increases the bioavailability of vitamins and minerals, allowing them to be absorbed by the body, while changing the total amount of fibre in whole grains, and helping to improve digestion and gut health.
Awakened Flour is slated for rollout later this year, through bakeries and other B2B customers in the US and Canada. It will target the attractive premium sprouted grains category, along with the Millennial and health-conscious Boomers who are looking for enhanced nutrition.
“un(Think)’s Awakened Flour delivers what a sprouted grain can and should provide to consumers, bakeries, and other food businesses. Its launch – and what comes next – marks an exciting time for AgriForce, the market, customers and consumers,” added Ruiz-Jimenez.
“We believe that people should not compromise the flavour, texture, aroma or quality of their favourite dishes in order to eat healthier. Our proprietary process, which we have been perfecting for the past 10 years, is designed to provide the key ingredients for many of the foods that people want to eat, combined with the nutrition and flavour they desire.” David Naccarato, un(Think) Food director IP Development & inventor.
Next-gen of controlled-environment ag
To ensure supply of clean label quality grains, the company has secured strategic partnerships with local non-GMO suppliers and speciality milling partners. It is also setting up purpose-driven operations in Saskatchewan and received a patent from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office for its growing facility design.
The AgriForce GrowHouse is an environmentally friendly and clean form of growing high-value crops even in extreme weather environments as it has the ability to be built anywhere. The revolutionary design provides optimal crop yields as near to their full genetic potential as possible, harnessing the power of the sun and advanced hydroponiccs, while substantially eliminating the need for the use of pesticides, fungicides and irradiation – providing the solution of the thereby providing customers with the
“Our objective is to provide an advanced platform for our customers’ delivery of more sustainable, better tasting, and nutritious food and plant-based products, as well as more natural and effective plant-based medicines and supplements,” said Ingo Mueller, CEO of AgriForce.
“With this latest granted patent, we have further strengthened our intellectual property portfolio and protected our advanced facility design and operational processes. We believe our foundational IP has positioned us as a leader in the AgTech industry and marks a key milestone in our growth strategy.”
The patent encompasses innovative design elements and operational methodology, including transmissive panels that maximise the full light spectrum; automation; IoT and AI tech; enhanced insulation for maximum energy efficiency; and a sealed positive pressure environment.
“We are proud to have all of our claims allowed and granted via this patent,” said Troy McClellan, president of AgriFORCE Solutions.
“We believe demand for our facilities will continue to increase as growers are seeking greater knowledge and expertise to identify the unique challenges and opportunities for each specific crop. In response to these needs, we intend to aggressively penetrate the market and have plans to launch several Grow House facilities in the near-term.”
Even more flour power
un(Think) Foods intends to follow Awakened Flour with a next-generation flour product, expected in 2023. Power Flour extends the processes that produce Awaken Flour to reduce carbs but maintain all the fibre and protein density naturally present in the wheat berry.
The company claims Power Flour will pack in 75% less net carbs, along with 40x the fibre and 3x the protein.
AgriForce focuses on building an integrated AgTech platform that combines tech, IP and knowledge to solve one of the today’s most urgent problems – creating sustainable crops that will provide nutritious food for people around the around the world. The vision is to be a leader in delivering plant-based foods and products through an advanced and sustainable platform that makes positive change in the world – from seed to table.