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Development of functional food ingredients from underutilised okara

Country of Origin: Singapore
Reference Number: TOSG20200106001
Publication Date: 6 January 2020

Summary

Despite being nutrient-rich, the use of okara (soy pulp) as human food is limited due to its high amount of indigestible fibre and low palatability. As a result, tonnes are discarded as food waste or recycled as animal feed. 

A Singapore institute has developed a cost-effective enzymatic and fermentation technique to transform okara as a functional ingredient for innovative food applications. 

The institute seeks licensing partnerships with MNEs/SMEs of all sizes.

Description

The Singapore institute's optimised and cost-effective treatment method preserves the nutrients in okara while at the same time converting indigestible okara fibre into soluble and digestible fibre. The functional ingredients developed from okara have the potential to help the industry in product innovation and optimisation, food supply sustainability as well as food waste reduction.

Okara contains the following beneficial nutrients:

• 50% insoluble fibre
• 20% proteins
• 10% unsaturated fats
• Isoflavones
• Vitamins and minerals

The Singapore institute is keen to partner MNEs or SMEs of all sizes on a licensing agreement where the partner could license the technology to develop it further into new products or services to be introduced to the market.
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Advantages and Innovations

The functional ingredients developed from okara may be incorporated into food products to improve and increase nutritional quality, such as soluble fibre content. Potential applications include the growing market for vegan products, for example, in the formulation of soy cheese. 

With its solubilised fibre and rich nutrients, other possible applications of the functional ingredients derived from okara include products such as soy cheese, energy bars, crackers, bread and noodles.

The cost-effective, plant-based functional food ingredients meet the demands of an increasing trend in plant-based food product consumption from both Singapore and the global market.

Stage Of Development

Field tested/evaluated

Requested partner

The institute is keen to establish a licensing partnership with MNEs or SMEs of all sizes where the partner could license the technology and further develop it to introduce it to its customers.

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