Perth, Kuala Lumpur and Ontario —¬†Australian Securities Exchange-listed food ingredient specialist Holista CollTech Ltd (ASX: HCT, “Holista”) announced today that it has developed a breakthrough noodle formula certified to have a low Glycemic Index (“GI”) – opening a major market for a healthier version of the staple which is vital in the global fight against diabetes and obesity.

The noodles developed by Holista’s Buffalo, New York-based U.S. subsidiary of Holista Foods Inc. (“Holista Foods”), 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.

Nadja Piatka, CEO of Holista Foods, said: “The fight against obesity and diabetes can be won with simple strategies such as empowering customers with better products. We are proud to make delicious, natural and healthier noodles widely available. In North America, there is a strong demand for noodles and healthier food options which do not compromise taste and texture. We are excited to roll-out the world’s first clean label low-GI noodles in time for Diabetes Awareness Month in November, and World Diabetes Day on November 14.”

Dr. Rajen Manicka, Chairman and CEO of Holista, said: “After the global launch of our low-GI bread formula we are excited with this breakthrough for noodles, a food staple widely consumed across Asia and the world. The implications for the noodle market and for the global battle against obesity could be significant.”