Omikenshi Co. is a Japanese textile company that has been in the papermaking business for 99 years. However, due to increased competition from within the industry, the Osaka-based textile maker is prepping to reach a new market of consumers — namely, health food enthusiasts.
Although this might seem like a dramatic departure from the company’s area of expertise, it turns out that the process for producing bedding, for instance, is almost identical for creating edible tree noodles.
These so-called “tree noodles” are made from rayon (a cellulose fiber made from tree pulp) and a sweet potato-like veggie called konjac. The result is a gluten-free noodle that is also incredibly low on fat and calories.
Omikenshi hopes these tree noodles could work as a wheat substitute for ramen or other pasta dishes.
According to Bloomberg Business, the company will spend 1 billion yen on a noodle-producing facility that will produce 30 tons of the noodles per month starting next year.