1. What makes it so difficult to make a low-GI white bread?
There are many considerations behind the making of low-GI white bread, namely:
Achieving “clean label” In the past, food additives were often used in white bread formulae, and were indicated by an “E number”. These E numbers are the code for substances that are permitted to be used as food additives. However, with the emergence of the “whole food” phenomenon – whereby consumers demand natural, unprocessed and unrefined foods – many “E Number” products have been taken off the shelves, especially in Australia and Europe. More and more consumers now look out for so-called “clean label” products, which are foods with natural ingredients only and no chemicals.
It was of utmost importance to us to be able to make a “hard claim” like low GI on the products made with our proprietary ingredient. For this reason, Veripan and Holista have conducted seven “GI testing” clinical studies with propositi (test persons) over the past six years. These clinical studies were conducted by the world’s leading universities in Sydney, Oxford and Toronto in accordance with international protocols.
Bread is a staple food, and we enjoy eating bread every day. Although we all know that wholemeal bread is healthier than white bread, white bread is still the preferred option, mainly because it tastes better. That’s why we have developed the low-GI white bread.
This was our biggest challenge. White bread is a commodity within the bread business, which means that margins are very tight. Anything that is added to white bread increases raw material costs, and with this the sales price. With PANATURA® GI we have finally found the perfect combination, which is clean-label, clinically proven, affordable and moreover tastes good.
2. What is so unique about your low GI white bread?
Our low GI bread comprises only natural ingredients – wheat, canola oil, yeast, salt, water, Veripan’s sourdough (PANATURA®) combined with Holista’s GI reducer, the formula of which consists of okra, dhal, fenugreek and barley.
3. I would have thought that someone would have done it by now. Is this bread really the first of its kind?
We announced this global breakthrough on 12 January 2016 – after receiving the results of our latest clinical study carried out by a renowned university in Sydney. The response has been overwhelming and unexpected. The announcement was disseminated and published by international media, including Bloomberg, which carried a web commentary based on interviews with senior executives of Holista and Veripan. Read Bloomberg article here.
4. Could you elaborate more on the low GI patent?
Our various patents for “Product to reduce glycemic response of carbohydrate based foods” are as follows:
United States Patent Number: US 8,628,816 B2
European Patent Number: 237889
Australian Patent Number: 2009334010
Japanese Patent Number: 5552721
Both Veripan’s sourdough technology and our GI Lite are patented. Over more than five years, we have invested approximately A$3 million in developing this technology. In addition, Veripan has also invested another CHF 1 million in its sourdough technology. Clinical trials were conducted in GI testing facilities across Oxford, Toronto and Sydney. Other food testing took place in similar facilities in Kuala Lumpur, Matzingen/Zürich, Singapore, Perth, San Francisco and New York. We have strong patent positions for the low GI bread, issued without query in Australia, United States, Japan, Taiwan and Europe. There are currently several patents still pending.
5. What other products have you tested using the low GI formula?
Our patent applies to all baked goods, a market that is estimated to be worth US$406 billion and grew 2.3% last year according to IBIS World data. To date, we have tested and validated low GI versions for muffins, biscuits and cookies. We are currently testing brownies and pizza. We are also working with commercial partners in the United States, Europe and Australia.
6. Why did Holista/Veripan choose Australia as your first market?
As Holista being an Australian-listed company, it was imperative that we have our global launch here. Our final testing for the low GI was also carried out in Sydney. Also, Australia has the highest density of low GI products in the world.According to IBIS World Industry Report C1171 titled “Bread Production In Australia” the market in this country is worth US$2.6 billion and is expected to grow 2.5% in 2016. Australians are the fifth-largest consumers of bread after Ireland, United Kingdom, and the United States.
7. When will your low GI bread hit the supermarket shelves?
PANATURA® GI will be sold through Holista and Veripan AG on a Business-to-Business model (“B2B”) to large bread manufacturers. We expect to hit Australian supermarket shelves in October/November 2016. Prototyping, market testing and selling will take place over the next six months.
8. What are the terms of your agreement with Veripan AG?
We will co-brand with Veripan for marketing in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan and the rest of Asia. Concurrently, we are working with bread groups in North and South America, as well as India.
9. Have any baking- or flour-related groups expressed interest in PANATURA® GI?
We have received several enquiries from a number of international flour mills, bakery manufacturers and even retailers in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore, United States, and Canada. Veripan will start marketing PANATURA® GI as soon as possible in Switzerland, Germany and the UK, one of the biggest markets in Europe. We expect the first low-GI breads with our ingredient to hit international markets within the next six to nine months. We are positive about the market’s potential. Based on data from Global Industry Analyst Inc., the global white bread market is projected to be worth US$198.7 billion by 2020, with Europe being the largest market and Asia Pacific growing at 6.6% a year.
10. What is the international marketing strategy for PANATURA® GI?
Holista will work with Veripan AG to jointly market the PANATURA® GI for the launch of the world’s first clean-label low GI white bread. We are currently exploring various partnerships in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China and Japan. Concurrently, through our U.S. subsidiary, LiteFoods USA, we intend to work with partners in Canada, U.S. and India.