Ruairi and Niamh Dooley from BiaSol.

Innovation awards nod for local food company

The accolades just keep coming for dynamic local food start-up BiaSol, founded by Ballykeeran siblings Niamh and Ruairi Dooley.

The company, based in Tullamore, has been announced as a finalist in the Manufacturing and Design category of The Irish Times Innovation Awards 2021, a prestigious competition boasting an overall prize of a communications and advertising package worth €100,000.

With a focus on creating innovative foods that maximise nutrition and minimise waste, BiaSol is launching its first product - Super Milled Grains - nationwide shortly which makes use of spent grain utilised in the brewing process to make a “nutrition boost” product high in fibre and protein that can be added to foods.

This latest endorsement of the firm, only set up during the lockdown in 2020, comes hot on the heels of being named as a finalist in the 'Emerging New Business' category of the Small Firms Association Awards in April.

“We are delighted to be recognised for our innovation. We have worked extremely hard as a two person team to come up with new food products which are both good for you and good for the planet,'' Niamh Dooley, co-founder from BiaSol, said this week.

“We have a range of ingredients that we sell to the food service industry and we are launching our new health food product, Super Milled Grains in the coming weeks. We also have a limited edition range of baking mixes which are available through our website,'' Niamh added.

“We are looking forward to the awards ceremony on March 9, but even being named as a finalist in this category has been incredible as our business was a concept only 18 months ago!"

With a degree in food science behind her and over two years in Vancouver where her eyes were opened to sustainability and health, Niamh, and brother Ruairi, whose background is in IT and finance, set about researching sustainable food sources and came to the realisation that repurposing food waste was a viable way to make a positive impact on the environment and create healthy products at the same time.

Encouraged by the rapid growth of craft brewing across Ireland, the pair came across the idea of repurposing brewers’ spent grain - a by-product of the industry that accounts for 85% of all brewing waste - normally just given to cattle as feed - to create a new range of nutritious zero waste products.

From their base in Church Road, Tullamore, they now work with four breweries in the Midlands, to turn the spent grain via dehydration and milling into a wholefood nutritional boost, which just one tablespoon of provides 10% of your recommended daily intake of fibre.

The Irish Times Innovation Awards aim to recognise and promote the best service, product, or operational innovations nationwide. The finalists were selected by an independent panel of judges to secure a place at the final and a chance to win the overall ‘Innovation of the Year’ award as well as a high profile communications and advertising package worth €100,000. Category winners will receive a €10,000 communications package in Business+Innovation and a one year premium digital subscription to The Irish Times.

BiaSol will be competing against two other finalists in their category on March 9, and they are Cubbie Sensory Hub, a self contained booth for children with sensory overload, and SuperWheel System, a patented weight to energy conversion.

For more information about BiaSol, check out the website.