Main objectives of WorkPackage “Food Innovation in SME’s” (WP3) 

The purpose of WorkPackage WP3 is to strengthen the Danish, German and Swedish food industry engaged in alternative crops and health-promoting plant protein sources that substitute for the more production-intensive and environmentally harmful production of animal protein sources. The knowledge from the participating institutions will be implemented through innovation activities and in already existing networks within the food industry and thereby create value to the involved SMEs. The partners involved in WP3 will setup seven innovation activities as a part of the project as well as disseminate best-cases and knowledge through food clusters and networks on both EU-level, national level and regional level and activate the strong food alliance this partnership represents. These cross-border activities will ensure that SMEs will achieve an increased competitiveness.

Summary description of activities and main output deliverables

WP3 will provide focus on the knowledge demanded by the food industry within growing and processing vegetable proteins in order to generate growth in the food industry. From agriculture and primary production, to how the product is processed to be used in food production and finally the consumer’s experiences regarding texture, taste and visual appearance
The activities in WP3 will ensure that the knowledge of growing and processing legumes in the different parts of the region will be linked between relevant knowledge institutions and SMEs. These collaborations will stimulate new products, help meet the growing demand for vegetable proteins and thereby reduce the environmental impact of importing plant protein and support a more sustainable alternative to meat production in addition to supporting a healthier life.

Close collaborations with SMEs
A number of regional SMEs are connected to the project. Collaboration between food SME’s and knowledge institutions in innovation activities will develop innovative concepts for new food solutions. It will generate important growth oriented activities addressing challenges in different parts of the value chain, enabling food SMEs to create new products, reach new markets and create more growth.
Close collaborations with SMEs will also happen through networking activities as well as through representations in clusters and network. RU will together with AU Flakkebjerg and ZIBAT provide field trials in order to test new more efficient ways of growing the plants while ensuring biodiversity and an efficient work routine for the farmer. A combination of the highly specialized knowledge regarding the legumes from RU and AU Flakkebjerg and a practical approach from ZIBAT Slagelse ensures solutions that will be implemented in a modern agricultural production, from seed, growing plants to harvest. In the process, the newest methods of pest control will be tested.

From harvest to production
ZIBAT Roskilde will together with SLU provide tests of the application of the processed products. These tests will be run in facilities similar to the ones used in the industry. Tests play an important role for SME’s innovation and will be provided through the knowledge institutions
The case will also cover chemical and physical characteristics of the processed protein products to ensure the human nutritional value and the food functionality of the proteins.
The development process will incorporate the paradigm of the legumes own sensoric and gastronomic qualities and attractions. This paradigm is considered to be more effective in the implementation of the consumer acceptance of legumes compared with the paradigm that cover vegetable proteins as an alternative to animal proteins. These areas of expertise are areas brought in to concrete innovation activities conducted by ZIBAT in close collaboration with the food industry and public food services.