Nestle is launching a range of Maggi noodles in South Africa containing the indigenous vegetable morogo, after three years of research to assess their nutritional value and taste.
This is the first time that morogo, also known as amaranthus, has been used on an industrial basis. Nestle said its long-term aim is to help emerging farmers boost their income by producing morogo on a commercial scale.
Nestle chose morogo as the flavour for the new line of Maggi two-minute noodles "because of its proven health benefits – particularly the presence of beta carotene, minerals and protein".
The development of the new product is the result of collaboration between the food giant, the South African Department of Science and Technology and the country's Agricultural Research Council, after the three parties agreed to research the potential of the country's biodiversity for possible use in nutraceuticals and functional foods.
"In South Africa indigenous knowledge has massive potential for research, development and innovation," Naledi Pandor, South Africa's Minister of Science and Technology, said. "The Department is proud of this key milestone, where we successfullyl translated academic research into an innovative commercial product which will be enjoyed by South African consumers."
These type of collaborations show Nestle’s commitment to communities in which the company has a presence, claimed the company’s corporate affairs director for South Africa, Ravi Pillay. "The addition of morogo in our range of Maggi noodles is our response to our global action of being the leader in nutrition, health and wellness by leveraging global expertise for local preference."