NUS spinoff wows consumers with zero-starch noodles

Finally, noodles with much oomph -- and no starch. In collaboration with CrowdFarm X, RedDot BrewHouse and SaladStop!, NUS start-up KosmodeHealth recently launched W0W™ noodles -- the world’s first zero-starch noodles that have protein and fibre, and will not notch up your blood sugar and cholesterol. They also do not contain any preservatives or chemicals.

Made using zero-waste principles from spent barley grains generated by the brewing and malt production industry, they contain four grams of protein and six grams of fibre per 100 gram serving, comparing well with other similar healthy noodles. With a texture that is close to starchy noodles, they take on the flavours of the sauce or soup they are cooked in, making them ideal for use in a wide range of recipes.

Catering to new needs

KosmodeHealth was set up in 2016, focusing on plant extraction technology, plant bio-ink technology and precise 3D-scaffold printing technology. “Through NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of NUS, we have gained incubation support, mentorship, and business opportunities. This is not only in Singapore but in China as well where we incubate in BLOCK71 Suzhou and NUS (Suzhou) Research Institute. The access to these resources and NUS’ extensive networks have helped us grow our business, gain partnerships and go to market more quickly,” said KosmodeHealth’s co-founder, Ms Florence Leong who is also an executive advisor to participants of the Lean LaunchPad Singapore programme (NUS).

To create W0W™ noodles, KosmodeHealth collects spent barley grains from RedDot BrewHouse, Singapore’s first local craft beer brewery and restaurant. These by-products are dried, and the protein and fibre extracted using technology developed by the start-up’s other co-founder, Associate Professor Huang Dejian from the NUS Faculty of Science. The resulting protein fibre powder is specially formulated into a pre-mix and then made into noodles.

“We developed W0W™ noodles to address three key concerns – ageing population, high prevalence of diabetes and high wastage of food manufacturing by-products. As our W0W™ noodles are made following zero-waste principles, they are healthy not only for consumers, but contribute to sustainable living too,” said Ms Leong.

W0W™ noodles is KosmodeHealth’s first product targeted at consumers. These noodles will be manufactured in Singapore, at Innovate360, Singapore’s pioneer food incubator.KosmodeHealth is selling W0W™ pre-mix to SaladStop!. This means that consumers can get the noodles at SaladStop! as a salad side bowl in bite-sized portions -- via Good Food Hood, its online food delivery platform. W0W™ noodles are also being sold online in 200 gram packs at $6.60 each by Good Food People and CrowdFarmX.

“RedDot BrewHouse is always looking for ways to up-value our spent barley grains. We are pleased that our spent grains can now contribute to the nutritional needs of consumers,” said Crystalla Huang, Brewmaster in RedDot BrewHouse.

Looking ahead

KosmodeHealth is exploring developing other starchless functional food that will help to manage chronic health issues, such as diabetes. The start-up has also succeeded in using the same plant extraction technology and expertise to extract protein and fibre from other spent grains such as spent corn grains and spent mung bean grains.

“Even though our technology can be applied to other spent grains, currently, we are concentrating on spent barley grains, because it is one of the main spent grains from local food manufacturers, and we want to play a role in supporting Singapore’s food self-sustaining efforts. There are some 75,000 tons of spent barley grains produced every year in Singapore. If we are able to convert all of this to our W0W™ pre-mix, we estimate that we can produce over 650 million servings of W0W™ noodles, making a decent contribution to our 30:30 goal,” said Ms Leong.

“We plan to expand our capacity and achieve economies of scale as we manufacture our W0W™ noodles. Our hope is that W0W™ noodles can soon be a staple food for Singaporeans – whether we cook at home or eat out. While KosmodeHealth’s immediate priorities are focusing on the Singapore market, the longer-term plan is to expand capacity in Asian countries, which produce large amounts of spent grains, such as China, Vietnam and Thailand.”

By NUS Enterprise