June 30, 2020

Finnish ecosystem to provide fertile soil for plant-based proteins

Broad beans
The Finnish food industry has already established itself as a leader in plant-based proteins with the innovative use of raw materials such as fava beans, also known as broad beans.
Adobe

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Helsinki are helping the Finnish food industry to build an ecosystem focused on developing healthy, appealing and sustainable plant-based proteins from domestic raw materials.

The ecosystem will seek to cement its position as a leader in the global market for plant-based protein by promoting the food use of broad beans, oats, rapeseed and other crops and cereals that have already generated traction for the local industry.

“The Finnish food industry is in a unique position to take the lead in the transition towards a more plant-based system in line with the national and European targets,” analysed Nesli Sözer, the project leader at VTT.

The companies and research institutions making up the ecosystem will pool their resources also to explore the possibility of utilising wet extrusion and bioprocessing technologies to modify the taste and texture of food, a fact that sets the project apart from others.

“Strong consumer engagement is essential to develop not only sustainable but also appealing products in terms of taste and mouthfeel,” told Sözer.

Kaisu Honkapää, a project manager at VTT, added that the plant-based ingredients, meat alternatives and other foods, as well as technologies, developed by the ecosystem could also provide a boost for Finnish exports.

“Our mission is to leverage […] plant-based product exports to new levels,” she declared.

The industrial partners of the 2.1 million-euro project funded by Business Finland include Avena Nordic Grain, Fazer, Foodwest, Gold&Green Foods, Lihel and Raisio.

Good News from Finland is published by Finnfacts, which is part of Business Finland.

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