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Nekta Nutrition Ltd, an Auckland based functional food Research Company, beverage manufacturer and exporter has launched a new product with the potential to dramatically improve the New Zealand and Australian baking industries, the company says in a release.

This new product is called NEKTABAKE, a natural carbohydrate extract. NEKTABAKE is a multi-functional baking ingredient made from the iconic Kiwifruit.

NEKTABAKE can be used as a replacement for butter, animal fats, oils and casein derived products; a healthier, fat free/low fat alternative to traditional baking fats.

“The benefits to the baking industry are profound as it has the potential to improve nutritional value and add other functional benefits across a broad range of products including bread, muffins, cakes, pastry, pies and cookies,” the company says.

NEKTABAKE contains the following active ingredients: Carbohydrates, Pectin, Dietary Fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Potassium and Malic Acid.

NEKTABAKE acts as a natural stabilizer, flavour enhancer and texturiser, mimicking the rich mouth feel of fats.

For example used on a traditional New Zealand meat pie, the pastry has the same satisfying texture on the palate as a fat-based pastry, yet can be up to 95% fat free.

Other applications include low fat cakes, muffins, biscuits and energy bars. The benefits include additional softness in breads, and increased yield due to its volume enhancing properties, plus it can satisfy the all-important consumer “squeeze test”.

For sales and marketing purposes NEKTABAKE provides companies with a healthy clean label. Additional benefits include colour enhancement with rich, even browning and a depth of flavour that emulates the taste and texture of expensive artisan products. The moisture control properties will improve flavour, texture and softness. NEKTABAKE even prevents ice crystallization responsible for freezer burn; makes most products microwavable, and provides a fresh-from-the-oven experience without burning or scorching.

Phil Pollet from Goodtime Foods in Hawkes Bay says: “NEKTABAKE has replaced seven different ingredients, three imported from the US. It has made our pastry process much easier. The average New Zealand meat pie has 6% fat; using NEKTABAKE our METRO pie range is a very low 5% and has the Heart Foundation tick. We are working towards 3% fat content. NEKTABAKE is at the forefront of our new product development.”

One enormous benefit to the industry is the extended shelf life, plus the moisture-binding ability increases production yields, creating the potential to reduce costs. After eight years of research and a development cost of several million dollars, NEKTABAKE is now available to the New Zealand and Australian baking industries.

The company hopes to, with the support and expertise of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise offices around the world, export NEKTABAKE.

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