Holista and Nadja Foods to Develop and Market Healthy Low-GI Muffins for US and Canadian Markets

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03 Mar 2016 --- Australia-listed Holista and US healthy food specialist Nadja Foods will co-develop the lowest-GI clean-label muffin using the all-natural GI Lite formula for the north American market.

Holista CollTech Limited will partner Nadja Foods LLC – supplier of baked goods to major chains such as McDonald’s and Subway, founded by celebrity food expert Nadja Piatka – to develop and distribute a range of healthy “low-GI” muffins exclusively for the US and Canada.

Nadja Foods President and CEO Nadja Piatka, author of two bestselling cookbooks and a previous guest on the Oprah Winfrey show, will use Holista’s breakthrough all-natural formula for a new line of clean-label muffins. The mix can be added to white flour to dramatically reduce blood sugar levels without changing the taste or texture of the final baked product.

Australia Securities Exchange-listed Holista said that its proprietary mixture – comprising extracts of okra (ladies' fingers), dhal (lentils), barley and fenugreek – achieved a Glycemic Index (GI) reading of 48, the lowest level achieved across all muffins tested at GI Labs, a nutrition research organization in Toronto, Canada.

The low-GI muffin can significantly reduce the high blood sugar levels caused by consuming white flour-based products. GI values indicate the rate and level by which different carbohydrate-based foods increase blood glucose and insulin. These values are measured using verified scientific methods and cannot be guessed by examining nutritional labels.

Under an agreement between Holista and Nadja Foods, the latter will develop a range of low-GI muffins for distribution to fast food companies, retailers, schools and hospitals on an exclusive basis in North America.

Muffins alone (frozen and baked) accounted for over US$1.0 billion in retail sales in the US (all outlets combined including convenience stores) in 2014, according to research firm Nielsen. It has been growing by 4% according to the same study, despite an economic slowdown and rising anti-carbohydrates sentiment.

The Holista-Nadja partnership comes amidst industry experts' concern that rising consumption of white flour-based products in the US – which has a high incidence of obesity – is leading to a potential health pandemic known as “metabolic syndrome”. Apart from obesity, this syndrome is also characterized by Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Barbara (Brueckner) Shpizner, Vice President, Innovation Manager at Mattson one of North America's largest food product design and development company – who worked with Holista on this development, said: "It's becoming increasingly clear from microbiome research that we can guide our health by changing our diet. The bacteria in our bodies are spectacularly important and highly sensitive to diet.”

“In the US, breads, rolls, donuts and bagels account for over US$24 billion retail sales. By changing the Glycemic Index of these products from ‘fast carbs’ to ‘slow carbs’, we are empowering consumers to have more control over their own health."

Nadja Piatka, who is also a recently-appointed Board Member and spokesperson for the American Heart Association, said: “The Glycemic Index is the next big and important food issue. New scientific data clearly shows that fast-digested carbohydrates like wheat are the leading cause of diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Eating low-GI food is the most practical way to reverse this trend. I spent my career on the low-fat movement and have seen the growth of gluten free foods. However, I believe a day will come when all baked foods will be low-GI. I am pleased to be part of this new revolution.”

Rajen Manicka, Chairman and CEO of Holista, said: “The US and Canada are the world’s largest markets for fast and processed foods, and are by far the most innovative. We took our time in finding a partner that can effectively connect us in this highly important market. Nadja has the entrepreneurship, innovative mindset and public relations savvy to facilitate this. Indeed, her company is the top choice of many leading food groups.”

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