TUESDAY, April 16, 2024

A Thai entrepreneur scores a win in Europe with her low glycemic flour

A Thai entrepreneur scores a win in Europe with her low glycemic flour

Six years ago, Perada Suponpun came up with a simple way idea to make her foodie husband happy while keeping his weight down – bread made from flour with a near-zero glycemic index (GI). Today, Tasted Better, Perada’s food tech startup, has just been successfully registered in Vienna, Austria, the first such startup to enter the European Union market.

" Back in 2018, my husband, Trai, weighed around 130 kilogrammes, which is excessive. I wanted him to stay healthy but didn't want to limit his enjoyment of food. So I suggested we try making bread without flour and sugar so that he could enjoy it without guilt,” Perada, Tasted Better’s CEO and co-founder, tells The Nation.

Trai’s initial reaction was to laugh at her crazy idea, but then thought about it more deeply and conducted additional research to explore the possibility. Together, they developed a functional flour with a glycemic index of nearly zero, possibly the lowest glycemic index available.

A Thai entrepreneur scores a win in Europe with her low glycemic flour

After proving the potential of bread baked with their low GI flour by watching Trai’s lose 30 kg in just 3 months, Perada decided to develop this flour as a business and Tasted Better was officially launched.

" Several new health and wellness trends were emerging at that time. So, I decided to produce low-GI bread and bakery products under the ‘Dancing with the Baker’ brand and sell them online," she said.

A Thai entrepreneur scores a win in Europe with her low glycemic flour

As the customer base grew, she realised that her ambition was no longer limited to bringing low-GI bread to the Thai market.

" I wanted people around the world to see that we, a Thai food tech startup, had developed a great innovation for those who really need it," she says.

The glycemic index is used to rank carbohydrate-containing foods based on how slowly or quickly they are digested and raise blood glucose levels over a set period, usually two hours.

A Thai entrepreneur scores a win in Europe with her low glycemic flour

The lower the number, the healthier the person is, allowing them to lose or maintain a healthy weight. And that makes Tasted Better products perfect for those who need to reduce their GI.

Tasted Better's Near Zero Glycemic Index Functional Flour was tested "in vitro" by the Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University (INMU), which was designated as the Regional Centre and Regional INFOODS database centre in 1991.

A Thai entrepreneur scores a win in Europe with her low glycemic flour

" Tasted Better Flour's glycemic index (GI) is only at 1.6 which is almost equal to plain water,"  she said.

The flour, known as TB015, then underwent clinical trials in vivo by the Food Innovation and Packaging Centre, Chiang Mai University (FIN CMU).

TB015's consistent glycemic response is potentially beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those aiming for stable energy levels.

" Tasted Better Flour can be used to make bread, croissants, pizza bases, pasta, noodles, and instant noodles that are flourless and sugar-free. Our product is appropriate for people who are trying to control their weight,
have dietary restrictions, or suffer from diabetes."

A Thai entrepreneur scores a win in Europe with her low glycemic flour

Her efforts have paid off, as Tasted Better has now received awards from a variety of domestic and international agencies, including the Asian Association of Business Incubation (AABI), She Loves Tech, Vienna UP'23: The Startup Festival, and Youth Leadership from UN Women Asia-Pacific.

Trai recently received the Entrepreneurs of the Year 2024 accolade from the Association of MBAs (AMBA) in London, marking a first for Thailand. AMBA is recognised as one of the top three global accreditation
organisations in business education.

Tasted Better was also named one of 500 global food tech companies at 2023 FoodTech 500, the world's first definitive list of global entrepreneurial talent at the intersection of food, technology, and sustainability.

It is Thailand's second food technology company on the list, following Sesamilk.

To further strengthen the business, Perada says the company will continue to develop its products from flour to instant pasta with a longer shelf life and which meets the needs of the EU market.

However, due to the start-up’s limited capacity, Perada is planning to collaborate with several large food processing companies in Thailand and around the world to offer its low GI flour as a raw material for producing
their own bread and bakery items for those in need.

A Thai entrepreneur scores a win in Europe with her low glycemic flour

Acknowledging the support of both public and private agencies such as Space-F, Thailand's Global Food Tech Incubator and Acceleration Programme, in building, Tasted Better, Perada explains that several minors
details and a trivial matter need to be resolved before they can proceed.

She used the company registration process for the City of Vienna as an example, stating that it took several months to officially launch Tasted Better due to the differences in backend financial banking systems between
Thailand and the EU.

" These never-ending issues consume our time and efforts. However, I have never been discouraged because I have one clear goal in mind: to see our Tasted Better products on market shelves in the EU and elsewhere around the world. I also want to show them they can expect innovative foods from Thailand," she said.