Frozen food manufacturer Global Food Industries (GFI) have come up with something in the UAE that is just a little bit awesome, a unique ‘Aqua Kale’ concept, which cultivates this popular, organic, halal-certified, and pesticide-free leafy cabbage without the use of soil; instead the crop is fully grown on water. GFI is the only company in the Middle East that owns a farm large enough to commercially produce approximately 24 tons of ‘Aqua Kale’ a year using 100 per cent recycled water. This allows the company to produce up to 25 per cent more food with the same water source compared with conventional method.
“Without a doubt, ‘Aqua Kale’ is the right product to help address several serious health and dietary concerns in the UAE and the Middle East, including diabetes and obesity. Higher health awareness among UAE citizens and residents as a result of intensive government campaigns and initiatives is driving the demand for healthy food choices,” said Jacek Plewa, GM, Global Food Industries. “We are pleased to introduce to the UAE this new concept of growing kale without using soil to address the health and dietary issues of the people here and also from the surrounding regions. We are proud to bring Aqua Kale to the market, which can be a better source of nutrition for future generations. We aim to preserve and promulgate a healthy system of dietary food supply in the UAE market with the introduction of this superfood.”
Kale, which is part of the cabbage family, is high in protein, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and antioxidants. One cup of this green leafy vegetable contains 36 calories and 5 grams of fiber and it contains nearly twice the amount of vitamin K as most of its fellow cruciferous vegetables. Proportionate servings of ‘Aqua Kale’ have more iron than beef, more calcium than milk, and more vitamin C than spinach. Among the most nutrient-dense foods on earth, kale is great in salads, juices and snacks but can be very expensive and sometimes difficult to get a hold of in the region.
Frozen ‘Aqua Kale’ can be used much like frozen spinach, great for smoothies and cooking; since kale is fresh for a fairly short time, GFI processes fresh kale into frozen cubes to make sure it is available for longer use. According to GFI, growing ‘Aqua Kale’ will help address the lack of healthy juice offerings in the local hotel, restaurant, and café (HORECA) market, having introduced frozen Aqua Kale in the blends of popular juices being offered in hotels, cafeterias, and restaurants, GFI is now looking at bringing the super veggie to the dining tables of the average UAE households.
“We are currently supplying to local restaurants and cafeterias and we are training the staff to make sugar-free juices and smoothies by adding kale. Juices with kale are equally tasty. We are regularly monitoring our more than 400 partner cafés to make sure that they offer healthy alternatives only. Moreover, ‘Aqua Kale’ is the ideal alternative to sugar-rich snacks popular among residents. We are fully committed in promoting and making people more aware of this healthier source of nutrition—not just for people today but also for future generations, as it not only helps control diabetes and obesity but it also increases immunity and detoxification,” concluded Plewa.
I for one am quite excited at the prospect of frozen kale, I know that I go through a lot of frozen spinach and I would love to have kale too – the fresh stuff is incredibly expensive in my opinion but I love it – I love a good kale salad, or sauteed with onions, garlic and bacon!
I will be watching the supermarket shelves with great anticipation.