Meet the World’s Smallest Superfood

Wolffia is a plant-based protein and highly nutritious

Feb 13, 2023
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Meet the World’s Smallest Superfood | Wolffia is a plant-based protein and highly nutritious

Tiny wolffia arrhizal, also known as water lentils and duckweed, is the newest and smallest superfood. The greens may be tiny in size but they are mighty in plant-protein and  phytonutrients. While wolffia is consumed in Thailand because it is an inexpensive food grows naturally, according to No Camels, this superfood is gaining popularity around the globe.

GreenOnyx, a startup in Tel Aviv, Israel, that was founded in 2013 is now cultivating wolffian in a high-tech urban farm where the growing conditions are controlled by sensors and artificial intelligence to ensure the highest quality.

Wolffia is highly suited for this type of smart farming because it’s the world’s fastest growing vegetable and doubles its size in just two days. The plant can be grown year-round and completely independent of the weather conditions and without using agricultural land, reported The Times of Israel.

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About GreenOnyx
The food-tech startup was co-founded by CEO Tsipi Shoham, a cancer researcher who wanted to find the healthiest vegetable in order to help boost patients’ immune systems and help reduce the risk of developing the disease.

“My professional background in cancer research led to the recognition of the importance of wholesome fresh greens to promote cellular strength, prevent illness and disease, and promote longevity,” Shoham told The Times of Israel. “Recognizing the tremendous potential health impact of greens phytonutrients, as well as the significant challenges, I changed my mission from oncology research to creating a breakthrough in the delivery and consumption of fresh greens.”

Her six-years of research took her to Thailand where she discovered  the tiny greens growing in ponds. But the wild wolffian has to be washed and boiled which makes it lose much of its health benefits. Still the green met the requirements that Shoham was looking for if it could be grown in optimal conditions, according to No Camels.

Rebranding the product
But calling this superfood wolffian or duckweed doesn’t sound all that appetizing. That’s why GreenOnyx rebranded the tiny green as Wanna Greens and started selling it online in tubs that resemble the ones used for ice cream. Wanna Greens stay fresh for six weeks and require no peeling, chopping or cooking.

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“It tastes very  mild, very gentle, with a texture that’s something like caviar,” Ben Kidron, the company’s chief revenue officer told No Camel. “You can cook it if you want but you will lose some of the benefits. It’s best eaten raw.”

Wanna Greens is being used in Patel & Chabot, a leading French restaurant. and several Michelin-starred restaurants. But the startup has set its sights to the stars, literally. A miniature farm machine will test whether the greens can be grown in space.

“They know their people must consume fresh vegetables but they don’t have any solution in the space stations or on Mars, ”Kidron said

“You need 80 grams of fresh leafy greens per day, that’s the minimum required by officials in many countries just to keep your health in good condition. You just need it; astronauts need it and that’s why NASA is talking with us.”

So if you are looking for a superior plant-based protein with more iron than spinach, more zinc than kale, and more potassium than any other greens, your search may soon be over.  Wanna Greens is available in Europe and the startup is negotiating with a grower and food company in the US.

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Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.
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