FINEST - Swedish legumes for protein-rich plant-based food
FINEST works, from a climate and health perspective, to increase the production of Swedish legumes that can replace traditional animal products as well as dairy substitutes and meat substitutes with proteins from Swedish legumes.
A more plant-based and diversified diet is identified as key factor to improve both human health and to handle degradation of environmental and natural resources. Increased consumer awareness of above, has led to a high demand for alternatives to meat and dairy, and nowadays there are a range of alternative products on the market, especially meat analogues. However, their production processes and quality still require improvements to reach consumer satisfaction and recurring consumption, as well as to develop new products.
Attractive meat and dairy analogues require high protein raw material. Hence, soybeans are the dominant crop used for this purpose but, due to the cooler climate, it cannot be harvested with sufficient yields in Sweden. The Swedish National food strategy has stated the importance of increased Swedish food production and to shift from imported to locally grown crops. This coincides with the aim this project where we plan to stimulate an increased Swedish production and consumption.
As of today, several protein crops, such as quinoa, lupin and common beans, are cultivated in small amounts in certain parts of Sweden, along whith faba beans and peas. All these crops are suitable for cultivation in many regions of the Sweden. However, they are only grown in small scale and mainly used as feed. Therefore, there are expertise in primary production, but the knowledge and expertise for processing of these crops into a food ingredient is nearly absent. In addition, international research focuses largely on soy protein crops with limited knowledge of correlation of functionality and application to legumes crops, especially in the case of faba beans.
We will help produce new food products, as well as to translate existing products into Swedish versions by using crops from Sweden. So, there is a need for research to improve and develop sustainable processes and appealing products from Swedish legume crops, and more specifically we plan to design and study plant-based products with adequate nutritional quality and high palatability by optimizing texture and flavor and also removing unwanted anti-nutrients.
The goal is to develop new value chain innovations based on Swedish legumes crops and in collaboration with stakeholders spanning from cultivation to food applications and consumption. Such value chains will support the development of an increased diversity of agricultural products and enhance protein self-sufficiency in Sweden. Furthermore, this will open for new businesses focusing on new protein alternatives with Swedish origin, and for more appealing protein alternatives for consumption. Such development will strengthen the whole food system.
We create FINEST together
At FINEST, we address issues that are too large and too difficult for the individual player to solve on their own. The knowledge we create together is an important key to achieving a sustainable transformation of the food system.
FINEST - Swedish protein-based food
RISE role in project