Global Food Industries (GFI) aims to produce around 24 tons of ‘Aqua Kale’ each year on water in the middle of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) desert.
The farm uses 100% recycled water, helping produce up to 25% more food with the same water source compared with conventional methods.
According to a Frost and Sullivan report, the value of the regional organic farming segment is expected to reach USD 1.5 billion by 2018 – attributing the growth to the increasing demand coming from major retailers. GFI is introducing the idea of organic farming to the UAE market in light of the growing popularity of organics across the rest of the Gulf region.
“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,” says Jacek Plewa, GM, Global Food Industries.
The zero-fat superfood kale, which is part of the cabbage family, is high in protein, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and antioxidants, among others. One cup of this green leafy vegetable contains 36 calories and 5 grams of fiber. Kale 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 superfoods on earth, kale is a popular ingredient of salads, juices and snacks in many Western countries but it remains relatively unknown in the region. Global Food Industries recently also won best food innovation award at Gulfood recently for ‘Aqua Kale.’
“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,” says Plewa.
“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.”