Twines Gluten-Free, High in Fibre Grape Pomace Pretzels

Twines pretzels are unique, delicious, nutritious & extremely sustainable, made from grape pomace flour - a by-product of the wine industry.

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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

2017 NPD Department of Food Science, Stellenbosch University

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Start-Up (a pilot that has just started operating)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • Less than $1k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 1 - 10

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Rural development

Headquarters location: Country

  • South Africa

Headquarters location: City

Stellenbosch, Western Cape

Location(s) of impact

South Africa, specifically Stellenbosch, Western Cape

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Twines utilizes two food waste streams, giving food that would've typically been discarded new life. Over a third of all food produced is wasted, and with the growing population of today, we can't afford that kind of volume of wastage. Twines pretzels are also gluten-free, making it unique to the South African market. Gluten-free diets are more popular than ever, however there is no gluten-free pretzel on supermarket shelves.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

The two waste streams incorportated into Twines' matrix are potato starch and grape pomace. Potato starch is extracted from waste potatoes that cannot be sold, due to irregular shape, size, or the presence of blemishes. The potato starch is gluten-free, and gives the product a light, airy texture. During the wine-making process, the grape skins and seeds are typically discarded after the extraction of the juice. This nutrient rich grape pomace is typically discarded or fed to livestock. Twines utilizes this grape pomace in a flour form, giving the product its unique purple colour and high-fibre benefit. The product is sustainable to produce, innovative and unique. It is also the only gluten free pretzel in South Africa, fulfilling an unmet niche.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

Twines not only utilises food waste, giving at it new life, but serves to educate people about the food waste crisis we have on our hands, and encourage sustainable living in general. The process of producing Twines has a low carbon footprint. The product is handmade with love, and avoids the use of any heavy equipment and machinery. This handmade aspect also opens up an opportunity for employment.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

The development of this product fell under the Department of Food Science at Stellenbosch University, and made use of a very small budget and sponsorships from various companies and organisations. Thus far, the product has not been commercialised. The product would require an in-depth financial sustainability plan to be developed should it be taken to market.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

Twines pretzels are the only gluten-free pretzels available in South Africa to date, and make use of a unique ingredient not used commercially in other products. Twines is unique in its colour, flavour profile, and ingredient matrix. It is also high in fibre, unlike most other pretzels on the market. Twines pretzels are economically competitive, especially for a gluten-free product. They are unique, promote sustainability, and utilize food waste streams that would have typically gone to waste.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

As part of our final year, we are required to develop a new product according to a theme. This years theme was 'profit rather than waste'. We were inspired by the beautiful vineyards that surround us in Stellenbosch, and took notice of the tons of grape pomace that is discarded every season. After some research, and realising the nutritional potential of grape pomace, the concept of Twines was developed. We also took notice that there were no gluten-free pretzels available on the South African supermarket shelves, and decided to make use of this unfulfilled niche.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Upon recommendation from others


Join the conversation:

Photo of Fama Fama

working with the fonio which is a gluten-free cereal I find this project great, courage

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