Australian oats: not just for breakfast
Noodles and “rice” made from Australian oats could become the latest pantry staples here and overseas, thanks to new manufacturing processes developed by the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC). AEGIC specialises in research and development and food innovation to encourage investment in value-added grain products.
The centre is currently on the lookout for food brands and manufacturers who can fast-track getting the products to market. The aim is to move oats beyond the breakfast table to a healthier everyday option for lunch, dinner or snacking.
Use your noodle
Developed from Australian oats, the new products offer superior nutritional benefits to other rice and noodle offerings. Oats are high in beta-glucan – a soluble fibre that can reduce cholesterol levels and boost heart and gut health. AEGIC’s oat rice also contains twice as much dietary fibre as other white and brown rice. Plus it contains fewer carbohydrates, more protein and a greater concentration of healthy unsaturated fatty acids. The oat rice can be cooked and eaten in a similar way to traditional rice.
AEGIC has also developed a processing method to make high-quality noodles from wholegrain oat flour. The noodles contain no additives. They’re also made with a hydro-thermal treatment that ensures the shelf life is the same as traditional wheat noodles.
Great for health, great for growers
“The demand for wholegrain products is growing rapidly around the world,” says AEGIC Chief Executive Officer Richard Simonaitis. “Especially in Australia’s key export markets, as Asian diets continue to evolve. Awareness of the health benefits of whole grains is also growing. Health authorities and governments are increasingly recommending that people substitute refined grain staples like white rice with wholegrain cereals like oats.”
The oat rice and noodle prototypes have already received glowing reviews from preliminary tasting panels with Australian and international testers.
“Australian oats are highly regarded in Asia and Australia for their excellent grain quality and health benefits,” says AEGIC Barley & Oat Quality Program Manager Mark Tucek. “Giving people more options to incorporate oats into their diet is great for health-conscious consumers. It’s also fantastic for Australian oat growers because of the potential for increased demand in what is a premium market sector.”