Holista CollTech and SunFresh Fruit Hub have collaborated to develop three key healthy ingredients for the global bubble tea industry.
The research and development collaboration represents the companies’ move to meet the increasing consumer demand for bubble tea with an alternative healthier version.
According to Allied Market research, the Taiwan Bubble Tea market alone is expected to grow to $3.21 billion by 2023 from $1.96 billion in 2016.
Food ingredients specialist Holista and Fruit Hub, a Malaysian processing and packaging centre for fruit juices and beverage ingredients, believe consumers are unaware of the consequences bubble tea has on personal health.
Together, the companies plan to address this issue by co-developing three healthier alternative ingredients for tapioca starch balls, sugar syrup and sugar caramel, without altering the taste or texture.
Each ingredient will have a lower glycemic index (GI), which measures a food’s impact on blood sugar, reducing the chance of diabetes, obesity, stroke and heart disease.
The companies will work together to lower the GI of the ‘pearls’, tapioca starch balls – which account for about a third of the drink’s calorie count – from the current 70-75 to below 55.
By using Holista’s low-GI and low-calorie sugar instead of sugar syrup, the partnership claims that it not only reduces unhealthy effects but also lowers costs for manufacturers and vendors.
All three products will be tested by the Sydney University GI Research Service by the end of next month before its release into local and international markets in 2020.
Dr Rajen Manicka, founder and CEO of Holista, said: “The bubble tea fad is not going to go away. The challenge is to offer a healthier version which can significantly reduce the potential of higher incidence of diabetes and obesity.
“We are combining science with the market reach and understanding of the needs of bubble tea manufacturers and vendors to offer a healthier alternative without increasing cost of production”
Ms Foong Wai Fong, managing director of Fruit Hub, said, “We are confident that these three ingredients will make a real difference and can take the creative beverage industry to a new level – a tastier and healthier version in which consumers can enjoy the drink without health concerns.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019