Or how do we transform the headstrong nature of chickpeas and rice into fluffy, crunchy Smiles?
When we hear the melodious word ‘extrusion’, we get a mental picture of something greasy, cunningly tasty and very unhealthy. Most of us would normally stay miles away from foods of that kind.
But when we set about researching production processes for Smiles, we found out that extrusion is not problematic and we could use it with a clean conscience. It’s just a really short process happening at a very high pressure and high temperature. It does a similar job as boiling or roasting, only much more quickly. Extrusion breaks down the roughest indigestible elements in the food, which would otherwise irritate the stomach. It also does a few hings that boiling or roasting can’t do – it eliminates all the water, which normally allows foods to go off.
Extrusion’s bad reputation actually comes from the ingredients it’s often used with – low-quality corn or maize, hydrogenated palm oil, flavour enhancers and other additives.
We decided to take advantage of the technology, using it on top quality ingredients only. We chose organic chickpea and rice semolina because just like wholemeal flour good-quality semolina keeps the nutrients of the entire grain. The results from our tests motivates us to continue until we finally came up with Smiles. We achieved a balanced mix of protein and energy. And a lovely flavour – with a pinch of sea salt and a hint of coconut oil.
The only problem with Smiles is that now we constantly have to listen to someone crunching and munching around.