Sector News

Arcadia Biosciences-GoodMills collaboration promises disruptive wheat innovations

August 17, 2020
Food & Drink

Arcadia Biosciences has revealed its latest move in the commercialization of wheat ingredients across Europe with a collaboration with GoodMills Innovation. The partnership will focus on the broad health and nutritional benefits of Arcadia’s portfolio of improved wheats.

The announcement comes during a time where wheat ingredients are surging in popularity for a variety of reasons. The GoodWheat portfolio of good-for-you wheats includes higher fiber, fewer calories, reduced allergenicity and extended shelf life.

“We continue to see strong consumer demand for healthy food options and clean labels. Our collaboration with GoodMills enables us to introduce our GoodWheat ingredients with improved nutritional benefits to consumers across Europe,” Matthew Plavan, President and CEO of Arcadia Biosciences, tells FoodIngredientsFirst.

“GoodMills is an excellent partner with a strong focus on innovation. Together we aim to introduce uniquely healthy products for the retail, consumer and foodservice sectors in Europe, beginning in 2020.”

According to Plavan, home baking has undoubtedly seen a resurgence during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Consumers also are demanding healthier ingredients and food options with fewer – or no – additives.”

Arcadia works with several growers to cultivate its GoodWheat varieties, and Plavan says the company is “significantly expanding our acreage year-over-year.”

One primary reason for the increased innovation activities in the sector is internal to the GoodMills Group. “Our board had decided to accelerate innovation,” Michael Gusko, Head of Innovation at GoodMills, tells FoodIngredientsFirst. “We have formed a new strategic unit called GoodMillsX, based in Vienna at our headquarters, which deals with innovation. GoodMillsX is more concerned with big and disruptive innovations with a slightly longer time horizon,” he says.

“When it comes to our collaboration with Arcadia Bioscience, this also reflects our new way of thinking concerning the role of breeding. For us, breeding is not just about the yield, but the consumer and our customers come first,” Gusko explains.

He further flags the health of grain and wheat, in particular, is underestimated. “We see a lot of intrinsic health potential in the cereal sector. This assessment is based on clinical studies, which we have also conducted, especially in the personalized nutrition arena. The nutrition of the future must be seen in a completely new light,” asserts Gusko.

“Cereals, baking, staple and convenience foods have the highest market potential,” he adds.

Wheat ingredients surge
The wheat ingredients are the output of Arcadia’s proprietary ArcaTech platform, which accelerates discovery, development and breeding of new wheat varieties using advanced non-GM techniques.

“Our GoodWheat varieties perform very similar to traditional bread and pasta wheats, making them incredibly versatile – and exciting from an innovation standpoint,” continues Plavan.

“GoodMills Innovation is recognized as one of the world’s leading innovators in the area of grain-based ingredients that are both highly functional and nutritional,” adds Gusko. “Recent market research highlights accelerated key consumer trends in 2020, including health and immunity enhancement, natural, authentic cooking and sustainable plant protein. We see tremendous potential in Arcadia’s portfolio of specialty wheats to help us meet these trends.”

The European milling industry produces 35 million metric tons of flour on an annual basis, with a turnover of €15 billion (US$17.7 billion). Wheat contributes about 20 percent of the total dietary calories and proteins worldwide, according to a 2013 paper published in Food Security.

This week, Arcadia Biosciences and consumer food company Three Farm Daughters revealed their intention to form a strategic business venture to develop and market food products using GoodWheat technology.

In July, GoodMills Innovation released wheat germ concentrate for decelerated aging. With up to six times more spermidine content than conventional wheat germs, GoodMills Innovation’s wheat germ concentrate, SpermidinEVO, can increase consumers’ intake of spermidine, a naturally occurring polyamine compound.

And in August, Arcadia Biosciences revealed a collaboration with Corner Foods, an affiliate of Corner Capital Group, to bring the former’s GoodWheat portfolio of specialty wheat ingredients to China and Israel. Importantly, the coronavirus pandemic has heightened health concerns – an opportunity that the collaboration aims to seize by helping end-consumers incorporate stable high-fiber, nutritious wheat ingredients to their diets.

By: Elizabeth Green

Source: Food Ingredients First

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