"Advanced GreenFarm" unveils the successful development of "flo" Wolffia as new and innovative superfood - the future of protein

General News Tuesday February 27, 2024 08:02 —PRESS RELEASE LOCAL

Asst Prof Dr. Metha Meetam, founder and Chief Technologist, along with Asst Prof Dr. Wisuwat Songnuan, co-founder and Chief Strategist of Advanced GreenFarm Company Limited, the startup developer of Wolffia cultivation and production innovation, organizes a press conference to unveil the Wolffia cultivation and products under the "flo" brand. This event is honored by Ms. Supamas Isarabhakdi, Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation, who will deliver a special speech.

At the press conference, a forum on "flo Wolffia: a Global Solution to Sustainability & Health" got an honor from Mr. Suksit Srichomkwan, Deputy Secretary-General to the Prime Minister, Prof Dr. Arinthip Thamchaipenet, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Science at Kasetsart University, Ms. Pu Wantani Wittaya, owner of Fit with Plant Facebook fanpage as a certified nutritionist/personal trainer, and Miss Mangpor Jitrana Kengkana, Miss Earth Land Thailand 2022, to participate in the aforementioned forum.

Accompanied by Chef Pae Nattha Podok, a pioneer in plant-based cuisine who will join the activities and experience "flo" Wolffia products, the event will showcase the innovation and success in developing of "Watermeal" also known as "Duckweed" or "Wolffia" - the world's smallest aquatic plant incorporated into the revolutionary product of the future under "flo" brand. With the scientific and technological advancement, this propels Thai agricultural products, and integrated with environmental sustainability, this raw material becomes safe and nutritious. The company's ultimate goal is to develop Wolffia, a tiny yet valuable plant into a globally recognized superfood.

Asst Prof Dr. Metha Meetam, founder and Chief Technologist of Advanced GreenFarm, reveals that the company is successful in cultivating Wolffia, leveraging expertise in algae and aquatic plant cultivation spanning over 25 years. It recognizes strong demand of Wolffia in the global food industry, which has a recognition that Wolffia is a new superfood. However, serious studies on Wolffia have been scarce since 2016. Most Wolffia consumed at that time was harvested from natural water sources, posing challenges in meeting food-industry demand as well as hygiene and safety standards.

Subsequently, research and development began in laboratory settings, utilizing cutting-edge aquaculture technologies adapted from modern seaweed cultivation methods. It all started with the establishment of startup company in 2019, venturing into the SPACE-F business incubation program 1 and 2, sponsored by Thai Union Group Public Company Limited, the National Innovation Agency (NIA), and Mahidol University, under the guidance of which the company expanded its knowledge base and developed new innovations across various fields. This journey has led it to become a leading Wolffia cultivation farm globally, capable of producing premium-grade Wolffia under the "flo" brand, enriched with nutritional value and meeting industrial standards, thus catering to consumer demand, especially among health and environmentally conscious individuals. This absolutely transforms the image of Wolffia from a forgotten native plant into a superfood of the future, gaining popularity among domestic and international millennials.

Recently, the company secured funding support for an open innovation project from the National Innovation Agency (NIA) in the fiscal year 2023. Additionally, it was the runner-up from 7 Innovation Awards 2023 for the project benefiting society.

Asst Prof Dr. Wisuwat Songnuan, co-founder and Chief Strategist of Advanced GreenFarm, notes that "Wolffia" is a tiny but nutrient-dense plant, rich in nutrients such as vitamin B12, which are not commonly found in conventional vegetables. It has a pleasant taste, easily incorporated into various dishes, and when cultivated with modern innovation, elevates its nutritional profile significantly, with protein content reaching up to 40-50% of dry weight. Recognizing market potential, the company is eager to announce the successful development of Wolffia and introduce its innovations and products under the "flo" brand simultaneously. These include fresh Wolffia in 80g, 200g, and 400g sizes, dried Wolffia powder in 30g package, protein shake powder in 450g, Wolffia-infused ice cream in 25g portion, and crispy rice snacks mixed with Wolffia in 30g size. The offerings are to capture the market's attention as the superfood of the future.

Furthermore, the company employs marketing strategies to raise awareness of its commitment to producing "flo", the premium grade Wolffia with a focus on environmental sustainability and global food security. Embracing the "Nutritious, Safe, Sustainable" concept, the company targets health-conscious millennials, initiating the sale of fresh Wolffia starting today at Tops supermarkets. Negotiations with various business partners are underway to expand distribution channels nationwide, ensuring convenient access for customers and easy procurement for daily consumption. Furthermore, plans to penetrate international markets are on the horizon, with intentions to enhance product development, elevating Wolffia to an economic crop and positioning Thailand as a hub for Wolffia, enticing global consumers to make purchases here. The company aims to achieve revenue of 20 million baht in the first year and over 100 million baht within three years from now.

Meanwhile, the global market value of products from "Wolffia and Duckweeds" in 2023 was assessed to be as high as 76 million US dollars, with an estimated annual growth of 10.8% worldwide and a projected growth rate of 20% annually in Europe. Key customer groups include the plant-based protein and alternative protein market, the health food market, fine-dining establishments, and the animal feed market. Over the past year, the company has received significant interest from international clients, particularly from Japan, Australia, the United States, the Middle East, and Europe, presenting a promising opportunity for the company to expand into international markets by the end of 2024 and increase the company's export proportion to approximately 30%, as well as to expand production capacity by more than 5 times by the end of this year.

For those who don't want to miss attractive deals including special promotions and product prices, please follow the movement of flo Wolfia products at https://www.flowolffia.com/th or https://www.facebook.com/flowolffia/ or https://www.instagram.com/flowolffia/

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