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There’s a new ingredient on the block and it could be a game-changer.

Nutritious Food’s Sunny Hill Kumara Powder is knocking other similar products off the shelf with its nutritious, affordable qualities.

The powder is available in white, purple and yellow and is 100% natural, gluten-free and high in dietary fibre, making them a top contender in the alternative powder market.

Nutritious Foods managing director Kenneth Wang says the multipurpose product is useful in many different types of food manufacturing, including baking and beverages with the company already supplying a gluten-free and paleo bread company.

Nutritious Foods also supply another unique product – Sunny Hill Instant Kumara Mash. This gourmet product is available with dairy and flavourings added as well as a dairy-free option.

“A New Zealand first, possibly the world first, the new product is a shining example of Kiwi ingenuity and result of a few years R&D of New Zealand food specialists,” says Wang.

“Instant Kumara Mash tastes very nice and performs well by itself. It matches other ingredients of many gourmet dishes well. It can easily match any of your current kumara mash or replace many of potato mashes in your existing menu.

“I believe our Kumara Powders and Instant Kumara Mash have potentials to benefit more food manufacturers, particularly those in the baking industry,” he says.

The mash and powders are available all year round which removes issues around preparation and storage as well as availability and seasonal price fluctuations in the market.

Kumara is also very high in beta carotene and contains flavonoid phenolic compounds, vitamin C, vitamin B6, dietary fibre and potassium, among other nutrients.

“Kumara powder is very versatile and by comparison to other similar products it has very unique advantages,” says Wang.

“For the consumer, not only is it very nutritious, but the way this Kumara powder is made is very simple. No chemicals are added so, therefore, it retains most of its natural nutritional value.”

The kumara or sweet potato originates from central and South America and was first grown as a trailing perennial plant. The root vegetable was introduced into Spain in the 15th century and then taken to India, China and Malaysia by Portuguese voyagers.

The vegetable also has a strong history in Aotearoa New Zealand. It was first introduced by early Māori settlers and grew well in the semi-tropical climate. The kumara New Zealanders eat these days, however, has come from an American variety which was imported in the 1850s for its larger size and taste.

Sunny Hill products can be found in most supermarkets around New Zealand and a comprehensive list can be found here: