Is no fat wood noodles made from trees the ultimate diet food?
JAPAN has created some interesting and innovated products like selfie sticks, Bento lunchboxes and now, wood noodles.
A textile company, that makes fibre rayon, is taking the term ‘going green’ to a new level by using cloth-making technology to turn tree pulp into noodles.
Omikenshi, based in Osaka, is turning indigestible cellulose that’s mixed with konjac into fiber-rich flour, which the company calls ‘cell-eat’.
Konjac,also known as ‘Devil’s Tongue’, is a yam-like plant grown in Japan, and is used in making other Japanese noodles like Shirataki noodles.
Omikenshi’s cell-eat is fat and gluten-free, low-carb alternative.
It has just 27 calories per pound, compared to 1,538 calories in a pound of wheat.
Omikenshi is betting on a health-food market worth 1.2 trillion yen in 2013, more than double the level two decades earlier according to Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency.
“We’re entering the food business,” said Takashi Asami, manager at Omikenshi’s strategic material development department in a recent interview. “Demand for diet food is strong and looks promising, while the Japanese textile market is saturated and threatened by rising imports.”
Asami noted, other noodles that use konjac aren’t flying off shelves, but the wood pulp adds more flavor and texture that the other noodles are lacking.
BENEFITS OF EATING KONJAC
The Konjac root is highly rich in positive vitamins, minerals and fibre. Besides its most beneficial nutritional quality of being high in fiber, Konjac contains vitamins such as iron, potassium, phosphorous selenium and calcium.
Konjac can stimulate absorption and digestion of protein and other nutritious substances, keeps the intestine clean, and assists in bowel movement. It can balance the diet, relieve fatigue, and it has the function of keeping one fit and preventing cancer.
Konjac is a beneficial alkaline food. It is particularly beneficial to those who eat many acidic foods of animals, if konjac is regularly consumed in their diets, acid-base balance can be achieved. It controls blood sugar levels and reduces Low Density Lipo-protein (LDL) ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe eased the food-labeling process by letting manufactures promote health benefits without the approval of the Japanese health authority.
By the end of last month, 120 new so-called food companies registered with Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency, including 43 producers that had no history making food products.
Nippon Paper Industries Co., Japan’s second-largest paper maker, is marketing seedlings of a new tea variety it says helps control cholesterol and alleviate eye strain.
Konjac is Japanese most-protected agricultural product, and Omikenshi’s cell-eat may just help its farmers.
The government forces tariffs of 2,796 yen ($22.77 U.S. dollars) a kilogram or 990 percent, on imports of the plant to protect local growers.
Officials agreed to reduce the duty by 15 percent under the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
The trade pact has spurred farmers to try to find markets abroad. Gunma’s agriculture exports rose to 600 million yen last fiscal year, triple the initial target, mostly because of demand for the prefecture’s high-fat wagyu beef for global gourmets and its no-fat konjac for European health-food eaters, stated Ohi in an email sent to Bloomberg Business.
Omikensh plans to spend about 1 billion yen ($814, 3490.00 U.S. dollars) on manufacturing cell-eat in its textile plant.
Production of the fiber-rich flour is set to begin next year at 30 tons a month. “It can be used as a substitute for wheat in products ranging from ramen, pasta, and Chinese dumplings,” Asami said.
“We are discussing exporting it to China in the future as obesity is becoming a major problem for children there.”
*Culled from dailymail.co.uk