Red Rooster to benefit from Australian biotech ‘low-fat’ and ‘less sodium’ ingredients

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 9th November 2011

Quick Service Restaurant Holdings Pty Limited (QSRH), which operates the Red Rooster chain of restaurants in Australia, has entered into a two-year agreement to develop healthier food ingredients with Australian biotechnology company Holista.

QSRH is one of Australia’s largest fast-food operators with over 600 restaurants in Australia. Under the agreement, Holista will supply its proprietary ingredients exclusively to QSRH for joint research and development with the aim of offering healthier food to QSRH customers without chemical additives.

A statement released today by Holista said the collaboration involves developing a potato chip which absorbs less fat during frying, a low-sodium salt, and a bread which, when consumed, digests and absorbs carbohydrates more slowly while releasing glucose more gradually into the bloodstream.

Holista’s process aims is targeted to reduce fat absorption by nearly 40% when the potatoes are fried. Holista says the low-fat chips will be crispier, less oily and lower in calorie content than the concentrated comparable products.

Holista, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, said it will supply natural ingredients for these formulations.

QSRH’s Group CEO, Mark Lindsay said, “We are excited to be the first Australian quick service restaurant chain looking to deploy these developments in food technology into our system. We believe they will deliver health benefits for our customers, and in turn offer us a substantial competitive advantage.”

CEO of Holista, Dr. Rajen Marnickavasagar said, “This is the first time in the world a major quick service restaurant group has attempted to tackle the global epidemic of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” said, “The success of this rollout in Australia could  have major implications for the global fast-food industry.”

Holista said it has conducted initial research on the ingredients in the United Kingdom, India and Malaysia before validation undertaken at the University of Western Australia as part of the commercialisation project.

Under the agreement, Holista has agreed not sell its ingredients or products to any other competitor of QSRH within the Australian market. Holista is responsible for the costs of the research and development which has been estimated to cost A$820,000.