Corporate Engagement

Tomorrow’s proteins will come from plants!

The Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging, together with the Industry Association for Food Technology and Packaging, dedicated two whole days to plant-based proteins at a scientific-technology conference held in May this year in Freising, Germany. More than 70 participants discussed technological innovations and current challenges in the field of extraction and processing of plant-based proteins at the 3rd edition of ‘Freisinger Tage’ (Freisinger Days). New approaches and solutions were discussed – from questions of basic research to existing projects and already-developed products.

ProVeg was represented by four participants from the Food Industry & Retail Team, who helped to shape the first day of the event. The afternoon programme consisted of a specialist lecture and an interactive workshop. In the first half of the programme, our experts presented current developments in the vegan-vegetarian market, and shared insights into the results of a consumer survey conducted by ProVeg1. (The survey was updated for the German market in May this year and is currently being analysed by our market research department.)

The second part of the day took the form of an interactive workshop, during which the participants were divided into four groups. Using the survey results as a starting point, the participants developed ideas for tomorrow’s plant-based alternatives in four different categories: meat, cheese, baked goods, and yoghurts. Participants had to consider the raw materials, manufacturing processes, and packaging solutions, as well as positioning and other marketing-related topics. The experts, who came from different areas of product development, were able to shift their perspectives and were thus able to create various novel combinations. As a result, some new hypothetical products were created, such as vegetable ‘Kaminwurzerl’ or lentil-based yoghurt.

The second day of the conference focused on the presentation of novel food technology approaches, and research at the Industry Association for Food Technology and Packaging regarding alternative protein resources. In addition, the participants were able to attend lectures on food safety, sensor technology, and food quality. Finally, a tour of the Fraunhofer Institute provided the opportunity to learn more about plant-based food production, ranging from extrusion to a new plant-based meat alternative.

The 3rd edition of ‘Freisinger Tage’ built on the success of the past years and attracted an even more diverse audience. Interested companies are able to join the research network of the Institute and the Industry Association and benefit from their expertise.

References

  1. The International Consumer Survey is a representative survey conducted by ProVeg and partner organisations in 16 countries, which clearly shows the need for increased activity in the area of plant-based alternatives in retail from the consumer’s perspective. The survey results will be published in the future.

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