Research for the future

The Sustainable Food Initiative is doing research to meet future demands for sustainable, healthy and safe food. This includes research on for example reducing footprint, circulating food production, reducing waste in the chain and supporting consumers in making healthy and sustainable choices.

Valorization of plant-based side and waste streams

In this project the partners work on an integrated approach for high-valued applications of plant-based side and waste streams in food applications. The valorization vision is based on total use and on the combination of side and waste streams, quality of possible ingredients and products, technology and business cases. For technology the emphasis is on flexibility, scale of application, stabilization and good product functionalities. 

Unique combination of knowledge and technology
This PPP project is unique in combining knowledge and technology valorization by combing research at Wageningen Research to identify valorization options and to determine effects of mild technologies on properties of end products with applied pilot scale tests at Food Tech Brainport. In combination with analyses of the sustainability of possible valorizations this approach aims to result in feasible solutions for food loss and waste as part of sustainable food production.

Sustainable Plant Fractionation

Extracting raw material from crops uses a lot of energy and chemicals. By doing this with a mild process by dry and wet fractionation, emissions can by reduced with up to 80% and the nutrition value of ingredients will be kept. Food will be healthier and will keep more fibre and micro nutrients. Moreover, the functionality of these ingredients may be different from those produced with the traditional process. 


This project will, for the first time, take a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to gentle processing by combining the expertise of different disciplines. A menu will be created that consist of processing methods for a range of plant-based ingredients with different applications. 

The project will be mostly carried out by Wageningen University, such as dry separations and research. Wet separation will mostly be done by NIZO.  


The projects aims at reducing GHG remissions and land use by improving the total use of crops into valuable food products. This will be reached by searching a mild food process which will cost less energy and also let the ingredients keep a better nutritional value. 

This project is funded by TKI and will start in Q1 2021

Protein Compass

From a sustainability point of view, the dependence of animal based protein is too high: a transition to plant based proteins and thus the development of new healthy and sustainable food products is required. A major challenge, however, is the lack of overview and predictability of the intrinsic functional, nutritional and sensorial properties of the protein raw materials, which hampers fast and successful identification of the best plant based protein for a specific application. ​

More information: Floor Boon / Wageningen University & Research –

The Internet of Food

For the food industry to become more sustainable and efficient and meet ever faster changing consumer demands, it needs to speed up its innovation and production process. Collaboration is required, but limited as data are not being share and sensing technologies cannot communicate with each other.

The Internet of Food project will:

  • Define and set up an infrastructure to allow (conditional) sharing of data and models from different computational sources and from different data and model owners
  • Develop improved sensing systems in food production

More information: Michiel Gribnau  / Unilever –