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Selectum and Bühler create healthy, carbon-neutral snack

Austrian start-up Selectum partnered with Bühler to provide a new, healthy and CO2-neutral snack. Selectum launched Paddies, crunchy wafer pillows with a creamy dip inside at the end of 2019. Bühler contributed with induction baking technology to make their production entirely free of CO2 emissions. Selectum and Bühler ran product development trials and assessed their results in the Bühler Wafer Innovation Center’s technical laboratory.

Paddies have a 90-degree twisted bite-size shape. They are made with a combination of rice and chickpea flour. They are available in three flavors – 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.

Selectum conducted trials and tasting sessions there for almost one year to perfect the cream and the dough and match the production requirements for this snack. Different starches were tested, including gluten-free wheat starch, rice starch, and corn starch. Flours made of rice and chickpea were also tested for their high-protein content. Camilo Wolff, CEO and founder of Selectum GmbH, envisioned 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.”

Inductive technology used in Bühler’s wafer stick oven Franz Haas EWB ensured the CO2-free production of the Paddies. “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,” said Emanuel Hoeckner, product manager at Bühler. The EWB inductive oven is 100% powered by electrical energy. It can be equipped with an optional power pack to increase its output capacity in order to adapt to specific production requirements. Bühler customized 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.

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.”