Cultivation of Swedish root vegetables is climate-smart, as it happens outdoors under a long season, but at the same time they are heavily under-utilized. This is despite the fact that they all are high in fiber and starch content. The aim of the project is to develop new functional food ingredients and products from Swedish root vegetables.
Purpose and goal
The aim of this project is to develop new functional food ingredients and products from underutilized Swedish root vegetables and to evaluate how different processing processes affect taste, structure and consistency.
Traditionally, a few root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, etc.) have been accounting for a majority of the consumption, but considerable knowledge and experience are also available about the cultivation and production of other root crops such as jerusalem artichoke, beetroot and parsnip. Cultivation of root vegetables is climate-smart as it often occurs outdoors with a long season that covers many months of the year. In addition, the crops are durable which gives relatively little shrinkage and can be grown over large areas of the country. Swedish consumers generally have a positive attitude towards domestic root vegetables and they are often associated with positive health effects. However, Swedish root crops are today heavily under-utilized and they are mostly consumed as roasted or cooked as whole vegetables. This is despite the fact that they all are high in fiber and starch content, which makes them very suitable as functional food ingredients, eg as natural consistency donors or in prebiotic products.
The focus of the project will be on three traditional and under-utilized Swedish root crops; jerusalem artichoke, beetroot and parsnip as these are considered to have great potential due to high content of fiber, starch and / or antioxidants. Based on these raw materials, most food products and ingredients will be developed in parallel and in collaboration with the project's industrial partners; ready-to-eat meals, soup, snack product and functional thickener.
The project's goal is, thus, to expand the market for Swedish root crops in processed food products and ingredients where the willingness to pay, margins and the customer base are significantly larger than the current situation. This, in turn, will result in increased demand for the raw material, which is expected to lead to increased production and profitability of food-producing companies and also in the cultivation stage. By establishing a strong domestic market for these raw materials, a natural next step is to increase sales internationally and the long-term effect of the project is therefore increased exports of products and ingredients from Swedish root vegetables.
Swedish root vegetables
Västra Götaland Region
2 086 254