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Bringing the sustainable food system to a higher TRL level

Partner Story16-07-2021

Many different parties ensembles SFI. Connections are created between industry, SMEs, start-ups, universities, teams of students and researchers. Every partner has their own strong drive and passion to participate in the SFI. In the series Partner Story we will ask SFI partners about this passion and about their vision and participation in the SFI. Now the story of Royal Avebe.

Who is Royal Avebe and what is it already doing concerning sustainable food?

Royal Avebe has a positive impact on the lives of 500 million consumers. With the innovative potato, Innovation by Nature, we improve and promote health, welfare, prosperity and a sustainable lifestyle. We will grow in healthy and sustainable food ingredients and solutions, and will decrease the impact on the planet. 

To do so we take a look at the whole chain: from sand to consumer. Innovation starts on the field and ends with the consumer and includes sustainable improvement throughout the entire chain; sustainable potato cultivation, sustainable production of potato components and reducing the footprint and impact. We cooperate with and for the consumer to grow the availability of good food. With our innovation we focus on plant-based food with full functionality, taste and texture and nutritional values.

Innovating sustainable is done together and is becoming stronger in our way of working and thinking. However, breakthrough innovations for food are not enough; the impact on sustainability and health are leading. Creating an open and transparent innovation culture, where people can make use of their talents and can develop, leads to higher and faster output for solutions to meet the demands of the food market.

To meet the demands of sustainable and healthy food we all need to bring in speed and efficiency. This calls for cooperation, sharing knowledge and a mindset change. We cooperate with our potato growers, knowledge institutions, companies and our consumers. Transparency is the key.

Sustainable results

Our plant-based functional components are unique and anti-allergens, fit in the contemporary food trends and are free of e-numbers, animals and dairy and have a low salt and sugar content.

Some examples of plant-based products we have developed:

  • hamburger with textured potato proteins with a meat-like bite and high nutritional value
  • feta cheese
  • cream cheese
  • pizza cheese
  • desserts
  • concepts for meat analogues such as burgers, nuggets, sausages, pate
  • slowly melting ice-cream and replacements of fat

All unique solutions with low fat and creamy taste based on just ingredients extracted from the potato.

Besides sustainable food (production) we also use less water and energy on the fields and reduce more CO2 in the chain than we emit ourselves.

What activities is Royal Avebe participating in within the SFI and what is your view on SFI?

As Royal Avebe we participate in two projects, Sustainable plant fractionation and in RECOVR. Both projects are very relevant for us because they focus on a new and more sustainable way of extracting proteins from a potato while maintaining the desired functional properties.

The SFI is an excellent network to discuss the opportunities of more sustainable food processing in the (near) future. Together with other companies as well as knowledge partners such as universities, WFBR and NIZO the challenges of a sustainable food processing industry are discussed and collectively addressed. These challenges are being defined, matched with the opportunities at the knowledge institutes and turned into projects where possible. This with the aim to facilitate the transition into a more sustainable food production system.

By making new technologies available for the industry partners or by connecting (emerging) technologies that can potentially deliver a more sustainable impact for the food processing industry, the SFI facilitates this transition. The two projects that Avebe is joining as a partner are nice examples of areas where the SFI facilitates the transition to a more sustainable food processing.

Processing steps that have a large impact on the environment, high use of energy and natural gas,  those involving the use of chemicals with a high footprint or create a lot of waste are typically items that SFI can tackle. With the upcoming ambitions for 2030 and beyond these items need to be addressed with industry and knowledge partners together. Examples are for instance efficient dewatering and drying of products obtained by wet processing, the re-use of water, electrification of processes etc.

In a future collaboration Royal Avebe wants to bring the relevant ideas for a more sustainable food system to a higher TRL level. Ideally to be tested at an industry relevant scale.

Everyone involved around Sustainable Food (Initiative) contributes to creating a better world by the work they do. We at SFI are also curious what you do at home to make this world?

Slowly we are realizing more and more that everybody can make a contribution to a more sustainable society. Our eating habits are changing to a more flexitarian life style and the use of solar panels for a household is rapidly increasing. I personally contribute to this as well by omitting meat from the dinner table a number of times per week and by consuming less dairy products. The eggs are coming from our own chickens which can roam freely in our garden.

Read learn more about Royal Avebe, their products and mission on their website >