Food & Beverage Asia Apr/May 2019

MARKET INSIGHTS 14 FOOD & BEVERAGE ASIA APRIL / MAY 2019 W ith a population of just over 8million and the highest number of start-ups per capita, Israel is a country with a wellspring of impressive innovations in food technology that continue to stump global food giants and industry onlookers. Earlier this year in February, Food and Beverage Asia had the opportunity to get acquainted with many founders and scientists behind these emerging start-ups and technologies as well as see and taste game-changing food products from spirulina-fortified ice-cream to low-carb, low-sugar chocolates. Many of the innovations are especially relevant in Asia, where the health and wellness trend continues to be at the forefront. According to a consumer survey conducted by GlobalData in 2018, 64%of consumers in APAC are always or often influenced by how a product impacts their health & wellbeing while making their food choices. In the following paragraphs, we look at Israeli start-ups that have explored different approaches to help consumers combat sugar in diets as well as widen their options for plant-based proteins. Battling Sugar Consumption While sugar may look harmless in its appearance, it can have serious effects on one’s health when not consumed in moderation. For one, excessive sugar intake, along with other factors such as diet and lifestyle, can increase one’s risk of diabetes. In Asia, diabetes is growing increasingly prevalent with many countries now ramping up efforts to curb this by either raising taxes on sweetened drinks or introducing measures such as making it mandatory for manufactured products to have food labels that show sugar content. A1C Foods Founded in 2016, A1C Foods develops proprietary formulations to reduce the glycemic index and carbohydrate content in foods – both without compromising on taste and without the help of artificial sweeteners. The company is taking foods that are known to be ‘sinful’, such as chocolates and bread, and providing low-carb and low-GI versions. For example, A1C Foods has managed to reduce the amount of carbohydrates in bread by a third, down from 6 g per slice to 2 g per slice. “We are not using new molecules or anything that was synthesised in our formulations.Weare simply takingnormal ingredients andmodifying themto get the characteristics we need,” said Mr. Ran Hirsch, founder of A1C Foods. These formulations, which are currently patent pending, help the body absorb less sugar and also reduce the amount of flour and sugar needed in products. “What we are really trying to do here is to help people maintain a low-carb diet in today’s world. Everybody stands to benefit from this,” said Dr. Mariela Glandt, co-founder of A1C Foods and Medical Director at the Glandt Center for Diabetes Care. To date, the company has rolled out chocolate pralines for sale on its websiteforcustomersinIsraelandplanstolaunchitslineoflow-carbbread, ice-creams, pizzas and more to markets overseas as well. To cater to needs in Asia, low-carb noodles are also a category that A1C Foods intends to explore. What’s Cooking: Emerging health-promoting innovations from A1C’s range of low-carb, low-GI versions of bread, chocolate pralines and chocolate ice-cream. ISRAEL The technologies and innovations brewing in Israel are set to be game-changers in the health and wellness food market. By Amanda Soo