Colombian entrepreneur and CEO of Austria-based Selectum, Camilo Wolff, always dreamed of creating a healthy new snack that even his kids would love. That is exactly what he did in 2019 with Bühler. The two companies developed Paddies, small crunchy wafer pillows with a creamy filling that taste great and are high in protein, low in fat, and gluten- and palm oil-free.
Julia Lyubova & Michèle Bodmer, November 2022
Wolff has many years of experience working in the food sector, but he did not have enough know-how in product development to create a completely new recipe. Through his work with Haas and later Bühler, he was very familiar with the Wafer Innovation Center at Leobendorf, outside Vienna. He knew the food technologists at the center would have the expertise he was looking for and approached them to help create Paddies.
The center has a state-of-the-art laboratory, fully equipped with all the necessary solutions to carry out tests and trials. It offers special services to start-ups like Selectum, supporting them all the way from idea creation until after the product is running on the production line. Wolff had precise requirements for his snack: it needed to be protein- and nutrient-rich. His idea was at once taken up by Bühler experts. They began the development process in March 2019. For nearly a year they conducted hundreds of recipe trials and tasting sessions to develop the batter and the cream.
For the base, the experts tried different high-in-protein flours. They had to find the perfect texture to match the taste profiles. Richard Haubenberger, Food Technologist at the Bühler Wafer Innovation Center, led the development process and was up for the challenge of finding just the right mix for this on-the-go snack concept.
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.
RICHARD HAUBENBERGER , Food Technologist at Bühler
“The first challenge was to find the right ingredients to us. We were working with different starches, such as gluten-free wheat strach, rice starch, and corn starch. We investigated rice flour and chickpea flour, which has the benefit of higher protien levels,” explains Haubenberger. “It was a challenge to find the right raw materials. However, thanks to our experience and the collaboration with our suppliers, we found the right ingredients for the best recipe.”
The process of developing the cream involved a lot of mixing,tasting and changing of the ingredients. Somtimes it was changed by 20 percent or 50 percent by adding something different. Once they had created a variety of recipes, Bühler experts held sessions at which they picked out 10, tasted them, and then decided on the recipe that they would continue to improve. The experts held about five rounds before deciding on the perfect cream.
Wolff, of course, took part in every tasting session to ensure that his dream snack would taste exactly as he had imagined. Bühler supported him every step of the way. “At the center, we have colleagues who know taste profiles extremely well and bring together many years of experience in the field. After we made final decisions with Camilo, he and his team organized some consumer tasting sessions as well,” Haubenberger explains.
I wanted to bring a new product to the market with wafer technology – an innovative, healthier snack. A snack that is gluten- and palm oil-free, that is not fried, with less fat, and with a high protein content.
CAMILO WOLFF , CEO of Selectum
Nine months later, Paddies were born. The first Paddies had a cheese cream filling inside. The main innovation in Paddies was the use of rice and chickpea flour in combination to get the consistency and the viscosity right for the batter. This gives the snack the crispy texture while it remains easy to process and not too thick.
“We put a lot of spices in the batter that you do not find a lot in snacks. Normally our machines are used for sweet products,” Haubenberger explains. “But we went a step further: We put spices in this dip, and we put a bit of cheese powder in the wafer, so the product is very aromatic.”