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Nadja Foods’ founder forms joint venture with Australian company

The Buffalo founder of a company that makes low-fat, low-calorie snacks sold in restaurants and supermarkets across North America has formed a joint venture with an Australian company to bring white-flour baked goods that have a low glycemic index to this continent.

Nadja Piatka, president of Nadja Foods, has set up a partnership with Holista CollTech Limited, with Piatka serving as CEO of the newly created Holista Foods.

Piatka said Holista worked with researchers in Australia and Canada to develop and test a natural formula that, when added to white flour, sharply lowers blood sugar levels without affecting how the final product tastes. This is important for people who have Type 2 diabetes or who are pre-diabetic, Piatka said, and the product shows other health benefits, too.

Holista Foods plans to prepare recipes for low glycemic index white bread, muffins, pancake mix and other products to be distributed through restaurants, food-service operations and groceries in the United States, Canada and Mexico, she said.

“I feel the potential for this is incredible,” Piatka said. “The sky’s the limit.”

Nadja Foods controls 51 percent of the joint venture and Holista controls 49 percent. Piatka said she expects to eventually hire nine people to help promote the company’s products and educate the public on its benefits.

Foods that have a glycemic index of 55 or below are considered to have a low “GI.” Holista Foods reported a reading of 53 in testing with the formula for its white bread and a reading of 48 for its muffins.

The company still is working out the details on production and distribution of the low-glycemic index food items, including under what brand the baked goods would appear on store shelves. Most Nadja Foods’ products are made under private labels and Piatka can’t identify her partners. Her products previously were sold at McDonald’s and Subway among other retail outlets.

“I sign a lot of NDAs,” Piatka said, referring to non-disclosure agreements.

The first Holista Foods products likely will be ready for market by the end of the year or the first quarter of 2017, following testing and scaling up of recipes, she said. North America is the first phase of the joint venture, with the companies planning to expand into South America next, Piatka said.

Piatka founded Nadja Foods 23 years ago. The company, which also moved into gluten-free offerings, has two employees and outsources sales and marketing, production and distribution. Piatka doesn’t release sales figures for the privately held company.

email: swatson@buffnews.com

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