Vegetarian Meal for Primary School Children using Green Banana Flour as Main Ingredient
Nocchio Meal is a meal of fun colours and a culinary delight purposefully crafted to fill children with nutritional goodness. It has the enriching benefits of green banana flour (GBF) incorporated into each component. Our Nocchio pasta has an innovative spin, formulated to be soft and fluffy like a gnocchi while shaped like the familiar rotini pasta. Nocchio is coloured vibrantly with vegetable powders to impart immunity boosting vitamins and minerals. It is then paired with tomato pumpkin sauce, thickened with GBF to provide a viscous yet silky smooth mouthfeel and topped up with crunchy GBF crisps. Nourishing Benefits of Nocchio Meal including as an easy prepared meal with excellent source of dietary fibre and potassium, good source of protein and iron, cholesterol and trans fat free.
The purpose of the study aims to develop a vegetarian school meal for primary school students that may be mass produced as a quick serve meal. The prevalence of obesity and malnutrition amongst Malaysian school going students is highly concerning and initiatives to improve healthier eating habits for their good health and well-being must be encouraged. The study had five phases on collecting primary research through questionnaires and secondary research. Consumer studies were conducted through scheduling focus groups with primary school students and parents of primary school students. Based on the observations and data from consumer studies and research, the team then developed and refined ideas to produce 3 food product concepts which are mini skewered gnocchi, gnocchi box and quessa waffle. Feasibility studies that covered 3 key areas of concept feasibility, formulation feasibility and processing flow were studied and researched for all 3 concepts. After which, a concept acceptance study was arranged to gather feedback on the 3 concepts. After consideration from the feedback received, the team chose gnocchi box as the beta concept and made further refinements. The gnocchi meal concept was further refined through gold standard recipe study, producing a ‘benchmark’ recipe to be upgraded in the commercial product study. In commercial production, the gnocchi meal formulation is continuously refined in order for the technical ingredients to be added in to preserve and enhance the quality of the gnocchi meal. Factors in manufacturing and labelling were also considered after commercializing the gnocchi meal whereby the HACCP plan, manufacturing plant, packaging design and labelling were designed. This is then followed by positioning the gnocchi meal in the current market through rigorous marketing strategy studies, enabling it to reach its full market potential. Bringing forward the results of our market research in developing a vegetarian meal to counter the prevalence of obesity and malnutrition amongst Malaysia’s primary school children, Nocchio meal is developed as a vegetarian meal where each component is incorporated with the superfood, green banana flour. How green banana flour is able to counter the concerns of obesity and malnutrition is through the multiple benefits it imparts to its consumers, where it contains high resistant starch, is high in prebiotic fibre, high in mineral and vitamins such as zinc and vitamin E, and also has low sugar content. These benefits of green banana flour keep a child satiated and energized throughout the day, imparts the necessary vitamins and minerals to grow, as well as improves their gut health for better bowel movement.