Austrian start-up Selectum and Swiss technology group Bühler have jointly created a new, healthy snack category – small, crunchy wafer pillows with a creamy dip inside. Selectum has successfully launched this innovative snack at the end of 2019 under the brand name Paddies. Paddies have a 90-degree twisted bite-size shape, and, thanks to Bühler’s induction baking technology, they are produced 100% CO2 emission-free.
I wanted to bring a new product to the market with wafer technology. I envisioned an innovative, healthier snack. A snack that is gluten-free, palm oil-free, not fried, with 40% less fat than chips and nachos and on top of that, with a high protein content,” says Camilo Wolff, CEO and Founder of Selectum GmbH. “To develop this product, I approached Bühler as I knew they have the expertise and a technical laboratory for product development trials.” Together with the experts of the Bühler Wafer Innovation Center in Leobendorf, Wolff and his team created a completely novel recipe for a snack with a dip inside, eliminating the need to buy a separate dip.
Searching for the perfect mix
Selectum and Bühler ran product development trials and assessed their results in the Bühler Wafer Innovation Center’s technical laboratory. It offers special services to start-ups like Selectum, with full support from the idea creation until after the product is running on the production line.
Camilo Wolff had precise requirements for his snack to be rich in protein and nutrients. He spent almost a year conducting hundreds of trials and tasting sessions at the Bühler Wafer Innovation Center to develop the dough and the cream. Richard Haubenberger, Food Technologist at the Bühler Wafer Innovation Center, says: “The first challenge was to find the right ingredients to use. So, we were working with different starches, such as gluten-free wheat starch, rice starch, or corn starch. We looked into rice flour and chickpea flour, which have the benefit of a higher protein level. It was a challenge to find the right raw materials. But thanks to our experience and the collaboration with our suppliers, we found the right ingredients for the best recipe.”
The laboratory is equipped with Bühler’s latest technologies, various solutions for batter and flour mixing, baking and cream refining. It offers the services of food technologists, training courses, and even virtual trials.
Produced with zero emissions
Another factor that was important to Camilo Wolff was for Selectum to produce its Paddies sustainably. One of Bühler’s solutions at the Wafer Innovation Center is inductive technology currently used in its wafer stick oven Franz Haas EWB which allows customers a CO2-free production.
Emanuel Hoeckner, Product Manager at Bühler, says: “The inductive heating system has a lot of benefits. The production with this new heating system is not just CO2-neutral but completely CO2-free.” The EWB inductive oven is 100% powered by electrical energy, it uses no gas at all. Therefore, no CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere. It also has higher energy efficiency in general. With Bühler’s optional power pack for the EWB inductive oven, customers have the option to increase the output capacity of the EWB oven in order to adapt the production output perfectly to the respective customer requirements.
Bühler has modernized the EWB inductive heating oven by adding a special coating ring to deal with the higher salinity and lower pH-values of the wafer batter used for the Paddies. This new coating of the baking ring enables Bühler to work with new types of ingredients and recipes and therefore increase the range of the EWB customer base.
On supermarket shelves throughout Europe
Paddies, a unique combination of rice and chickpea flour, are now available in three flavours – cheese, toffee, and peanut butter, all with a dip inside. Selectum’s factory in Wolkersdorf, Austria, produces around 1.5 million 30-gram packages per month.
Paddies are already available on the shelves of Billa and Spar supermarkets in Austria and are sold in Germany, Italy, Finland, Spain, Hungary, and Poland. “I am very proud of the product. We entered the market as a start-up, and we are already selling our product internationally. Two years ago, it was just an idea. Bühler has been a very supportive partner all the way.” The Wafer Innovation Center’s laboratory is equipped with Bühler’s latest technologies, various solutions for batter and flour mixing, baking, and cream refining.