Savvy commercial partners sought for novel Australian oat products

Experimental oat noodles produce by research scientists at the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre. (AEGIC)

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Australian oat noodles and oat “rice” could become popular pantry staples here and overseas, once new manufacturing processes developed by the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre are matched with the right commercial partners.

Manufacturers wanted

A spokesman said AEGIC was looking for food brands, manufacturers or investors who could fast-track getting the new healthy plant-based products to market, and help move oats beyond the breakfast table.

“Developed from Australian oats, which are high in beta glucan, the new products offer superior nutritional benefits,” he said.

“AEGIC’s oat rice has twice as much dietary fibre than other white and brown rices, fewer carbohydrates, more protein, and a greater concentration of healthy unsaturated fatty acids.

“The 100 per cent whole grain oat noodles are produced without additives and AEGIC’s hydrothermal treatment ensures the shelf-life is the same as traditional wheat noodles.”

Free access to intellectual property

AEGIC chief executive Richard Simonaitis said access to AEGIC’s oat product intellectual property would give industry partners a rare opportunity to launch first-to-market Australian-origin export products.

“The demand for whole grain products is growing rapidly around the world, especially in Australia’s key export markets, as Asian diets continue to evolve,” Mr Simonaitis said.

“Awareness of the health benefits of whole grains is increasing among Asian consumers. “

“Awareness of the health benefits of whole grains is increasing among Asian consumers.

“Health authorities and governments are increasingly recommending that consumers substitute refined grain staples like white rice with whole grain cereals, such as oats.”

Oat Research scientists Dr Nabeen Dulal and Dr Sabori Mitra preparing a new oat “rice” product. (AEGIC)

Passed the taste test

Mr Simonaitis said the oat rice prototype had received excellent reviews from preliminary tasting panels with Australian and international participants.

“AEGIC has a lodgement platform to collect and review expressions of interest from potential commercial partners,” he said.

“AEGIC’s completion of the early development work has reduced the costs and risk level for food manufacturers or brand owners.

Mr Simonaitis said this included proving production viability using existing manufacturing equipment under laboratory conditions and with in-house testing to show how the process could be readily scaled.

Compatible with existing packaging methods

AEGIC also identified how existing packaging methods can be easily adapted for cooking the new products conveniently, and tested different cooking methods to simplify and encourage consumer adoption.

“Commercial partners will need to undertake market entry strategies and demonstrate their capacity to manufacture, market and distribute the products,” Mr Simonaitis said.

“However, AEGIC’s development to date means expansion into new market segments or increasing their current range in the healthy eating market will be faster.

“Product partners can also negotiate full product/brand ownership, technical support, and access to additional products coming down AEGIC’s development pipeline”

“Product partners can also negotiate full product/brand ownership, technical support, and access to additional products coming down AEGIC’s development pipeline.”

The lodgement process is open until AEDT 23.59pm on August 30.

AEGIC is funded by the Australian Government through the Grains Research and Development Corporation and the WA Government through the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

It is an independent, not-for-profit company established in 2012 to increase value in the Australian grains industry.

AEGIC oat rice being served at the 2020 GRDC Research Updates Perth. (AEGIC)

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