According to its founder, Edward Foo, one serving of ice cream (100g) provides 11.7g of protein and 4g of L-leucine. Mainstream ice cream contain around 5g of protein per serving.
The high protein ice cream is certified by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) in Singapore as a healthier choice product, and is also lower in calories, carbohydrate and sugar.
Foo said that L-leucine can help stimulate protein synthesis, reduce muscle degeneration and assist in building muscle mass.
L-leucine is an essential amino acid that the body cannot produce on its own, and hence must be obtained from the diet. Mostly found in whey protein, soy protein, and pea protein, it is also found in chicken, fish and beef in minimal amounts.
Recently in June, the HPB announced plans to work with food manufacturers to reformulate food products so they contain higher levels of protein for people above 50 years old, to keep muscle and bone mass.
This is in line with the HPB 2012’s programme to get food manufacturers to develop more functional foods to boost health and fight diseases.
The ice cream is intended for all ages, including children, elderly, athletes and weight watchers who are looking for a healthier product to indulge in.
Foo added that the product was also suitable for certain patients. He said the development of the product began as a homemade recipe for his mother who was suffering from appetite loss from acute myeloid leukemia in 2017.
Coupled with the lack in appealing protein-based foods, he said the protein ice cream was a means to fulfil her dietary protein intake for recovery.
According to Foo, the best-sellers are chocolate and salted caramel. Other flavours available include peanut butter, strawberry, vanilla, cookies and cream.
They are available in 100mL and 473mL. The product is also vegetarian and gluten free.
He hopes his product, “[can] benefit all Singaporeans in providing a guilt-free healthy dessert.”
“[We want] to give consumers the woah (surprise) feeling upon consuming the ice cream, and that the taste is as good as any other ice cream in the market.”
Next steps and partnerships
Woah! Protein ice cream was launched in Singapore in July this year, at selected NTUC outlets and Nutrition Depot (vitamin and supplement stores), retailing for SG$19.90 (US$14).
Foo said the firm was in the midst of working with other retailers like Phoon Huat, Cold Storage, and Hao Mart (mini mart), although details are yet to be finalised.
He said he was also considering tapping into the sports market: “Commercial gyms such as Virgin Active and local gym chain Gymmboxx have expressed interest in promoting healthier dessert options to their clientele.
“We plan to have our products available across all platforms.”
Foo said he is aimed to roll-out ready-to-drink lactose-free protein shakes and more food categories like frozen yogurt to its list of new healthy high protein foods by 2020.
The protein shake will contain 15g of protein and contain isomaltulose, a healthier form of sweetener. It will come in four flavours, milk tea, chocolate, vanilla and latte.
“We will be launching more local flavours, and new products range to benefit Singaporeans in leading a healthier lifestyle,” he said.
Apart from its presence in Singapore, he is eyeing a regional expansion in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Taiwan.