By: Deborah Johnson Wood
Grand Rapids-based Soy Ultima has been in business five years. But it wasn't until last October that their first product hit the market.
That's when Xtreme O's, a crunchy snack food made with Soy Ultima's ProTato product, was introduced to select schools as a healthy snack for students. Each single-serving package delivers 4g of protein and less than 100 calories.
Sales are expected to hit $7 million by the end of this year.
Soy Ultima is a food and technology company with a mission to introduce "whole soy" technology into finished foods. Conventional processes isolate certain properties of the soybean, harnessing only a portion of the bean's nutrition. Whole soy technology uses the entire bean, sans the hull, to deliver all of its nutritious properties—protein, fiber, and isoflavones—to processed foods.
"ProTato introduces soy flour into the process for dehydrating potato flakes," said CEO Gary Wruble. "We end up with a homogenous blend of 60% potato and 40% soy. That adds the enhanced nutritional properties of the soy without sacrificing the potato flavor."
ProTato is the result of a joint venture between Soy Ultima and RDO Foods, one of the largest processors of potatoes in North America.
Soy Ultima/RDO's second product, a protein-rich fabricated French fry will hit the food service market in a few months.
Soy Ultima came to Grand Rapids from East Lansing and spent two years developing their products and processes in the West Michigan Science and Technology Initiative's business incubator. The fledgling company has patented two of their processes focused on the bioavailability of the nutrients in soybeans.
Source: Gary Wruble, Soy Ultima
Deborah Johnson Wood is the Development News Editor for Rapid Growth. She can be reached at [email protected].