Roti Canai (pratha) and other Indian rotis are often considered as unhealthy, however 2 companies are about to change that negative image associated with such products.
Food ingredient specialist Holista CollTech Ltd (Holista) has recently formed partnership with Kawan Food Berhad (Kawan) to produce healthy Asian flatbreads, including roti canai and chappati, for local and international markets.
Australia-listed Holista, which has its headquarter in Malaysia, will use its proprietary mix of ingredients trademarked as GI Lite to develop a range of low-glycemic index (low-GI) Indian flatbreads with Kawan Food.
Kawan Food is Malaysia's largest manufacturer and leading exporter of frozen Asian delicacies worldwide.
GI Lite added to Kawan Food range of products is expected to add up to A$4 million (US$2.88 million) to Holista's top line this year. The low-GI roti canai will be sold in Malaysia by April 2019, while sales to US consumers are expected to commence in June 2019.
GI indicates the rate at which foods containing carbohydrates raise human blood sugar levels, with a lower score indicating healthier food. A diet high in carbohydrates is linked to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, poor energy levels, food cravings and drowsiness.
Based on Holista's previous laboratory trials, both companies expect to produce roti canai with a low GI range. Holista is targeting the same results it achieves with flatbread, levels being about 40% lower than the current global average reading of 70 for flatbreads. The low-GI roti canai will also have lower fat content. Research and product trials are planned to begin in January this year.
Kawan Food is a major supplier of frozen ethnic food with main product categories include bakery products, bun, chapatti, dessert, finger food, frozen vegetable, paratha and spring roll pastry. It currently exports to approximately 40 countries including US, Canada, UK, France, Australia and UAE.
According to the EIU, Malaysia is Asia's most obese nation with a 13.3% obesity rate. Datuk Dr. Rajen Manicka, Managing Director and CEO of Holista said, “We are excited to announce our partnership with Kawan Food, a home-grown producer and supplier of some of Malaysia's favourite food. Our low-GI versions of this popular staple food will help to address the growing problem of obesity and diabetes in Malaysia and abroad.”
Holista's clean-label (all-natural) formula comprises a blend of okra, barley, lentils and fenugreek. When mixed with white flour, it lowers the GI reading of the final product without compromising taste or texture.