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Pressrelease | 2023-02-21
En famn med kål, morötter, rödbetor

Research project converts food waste into new food products

Researchers at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute are leading an initiative to develop new food products by using side flows from the production of vegetables and beef. The aim is to increase resource efficiency and profitability in the Swedish food sector by offering innovative food products.

The project is a collaboration with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Ipsos, Axfoundation, MatLust and the Matsvinnet platform. It has been awarded SEK 6 million in support from the Formas research council.

Almost one third of all food produced globally is currently discarded or lost in the food supply chain. This is a huge waste of resources, which also gives rise to major environmental impact and climate emissions, says Elvira Molin at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

The production of both vegetables and beef generates unexploited side flows in the form of peelings, husks, crooked vegetables and off-cuts which are either discarded, used as animal feed or exported due to a lack of demand on the Swedish market. Some of these residual products may be perceived as less appetising or contain substances that are unhealthy if consumed in excessive quantities.

There are challenges to taking in residual products in Swedish food culture. We will test the raw materials in our lab at IVL to ensure that they are suitable for consumption. In order to develop foods that are attractive to consumers, we will collaborate closely with the innovation and development team at the Axfoundation centre for Future Food at Torsåker farm, working hard on taste and aroma experiences. The outcome from the product development will be followed up and evaluated through various tests by Ipsos, says Emma Moberg at IVL.

The project’s target groups are both young and more mature consumers, focusing above all on food suitable for use in the public sector, such as in schools and elderly care homes.

In order to measure their environmental benefits and profitability, the new products will also be analyzed from a life cycle perspective and in terms of their potential to increase profitability in Swedish agriculture and the food industry.

For more information, contact:
Elvira Molin, elvira.molin@ivl.se, tel. 010-788 67 39

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