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  • Writer's pictureSven-Erik Jacobsen

New plant-based protein foods hit the grocery shelves

In this picture you see Chili Con Tempeh

In 2021 a new project started in Denmark to boost the development of a more climate-friendly, plant-based diet, made from Danish raw materials.

The aim was to develop new, tasty, plant-based foods, based on new crops that will expand agro-biodiversity in a climate-friendly way and increase food diversity. This was done successfully in the project DANISH PROTEIN CROPS FOR THE KITCHEN OF THE FUTURE

Climate changes influence our food habits

The climate crisis is increasingly important for our life on earth, and requires immediate action on many levels. Agricultural production and our choice of food are of great importance for our ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By choosing the right food items we can make our own, positive contribution to reduce the climate effects.

Several new protein-rich crops are on their way into European agricultural production, and will in the long run be able to contribute to a reduction of animal food consumption, as they contain a balanced amino acid composition for humans. There is much interest from the market, but there is still a lack of an organized development of the market with new attractive products. There is a need for focus on new recipes, new basic products and new inspiration, in order for the farmers to go all in on the production.

The need for new food products

There is a need to develop products based on new, protein-rich crops that can be part of a healthy diet. The products can be simple, semi-processed and finished products (convenience food). The dishes must be nutritionally balanced so that the protein quality (amino acid composition) lives up to WHO recommendations. The products (whether they are recipes or semi-finished and finished products) must also be tasty with a good umami taste, so that they can replace meat and hit a meal culture that is characteristic of the target groups. Finally, they must be economically acceptable.

Dietary advice, published in Denmark in 2021 from the Danish Food Authorities, recommends a sharp increase in the intake of plant based protein such as legumes, buckwheat, quinoa and others, at the expense of meat.

The project was concluded with a public workshop

The workshop took place on 17th of May 2022, where the participants from outside were inspired by presentations and tastings, demonstrating how healthy Danish proteins can replace meat in tasty new dishes.

Here, the participants gained knowledge about preparation and application possibilities for how, among other things. quinoa, lentils, chickpea and tempeh are best used in a variety of dishes. In addition, the event featured presentations on food safety and environmental production of the Danish plant-based foods, presented by Quinoa Quality, Contempehrary, Simple Feast, Food Solutions, Copenhagen Food Service and Absalon University College.

The event was the end of the innovation collaboration Danish protein crops for the kitchen of the future, where the innovation partners over the past year have jointly created more than 20 new recipes and several will soon launch new foods in the Danish grocery stores. So look forward to the new healthy items landing on the shelves of your supermarket.

Partners in the Danish protein crops for the kitchen of the future are:

Quinoa Quality, Contempehrary, Simple Feast, Food Solutions, Københavns Madservice and Professionshøjskolen Absalon.


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