Innovatieve Samenwerking: Gelderse Bedrijven Transformeren Vleesalternatieven
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Dutch Companies collaborate on new meat substitutes

  • 27 December 2023

With the growing global population, the demand for protein-rich food is on the rise, turning food security into an urgent issue. However, the traditional approach with animal products contributes to negative effects on the climate and the environment. At the same time, the European food industry generates over 59 million tons of waste annually. To address these challenges, Gelderland-based companies Greencovery, Time-travelling Milkman, and Ruitenberg Ingredients have come together in an innovative two-year project approved for a Gelderland MIT R&D subsidy.

The primary goal of the collaboration is to use sustainable ingredients and upgraded plant-based by-products for the production of juicier, meat-like structures. The "CO2 switch separation" method extracts valuable functional fibers, proteins, and antioxidants from plant-based by-products, enhancing the taste, texture, and nutritional value of meat alternatives.

Another key development in the project is the extraction process and specific composition of plant-based oleosomes derived from by-products, such as those from sunflower oil production. These oleosomes contribute to the stability and juiciness of meat alternatives during various structuring processes. Both conventional extrusion and new extrusion-free structuring techniques result in high-quality, flavorful, and sustainable meat alternatives set to be available in a few years.

Support for Sustainable Future Ambitions

Over the past years, Oost NL has supported the three companies in their development. Two of them are startups guided through acceleration and growth programs, while Ruitenberg Ingredients, a regional SME food company, has significant experience in protein transition. All three are active in the protein transition network, The Protein Cluster. Jouke Kardolus, senior project manager for Food, emphasizes the support for this joint project initiative due to the shared ambition for a more sustainable, waste-free, and innovative future.

Source: Oost NL