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VALOCAKE: turning side streams into tasty food products

29 Oct 2020


How can we make sure that, in the future, the rapidly-growing world population will still have access to proteins? It is a global challenge, and in an innovation project funded by EIT Food, Puratos joins in the quest for future food security. In 2018, we participated in the PROVE project. This year, we are one of the partners in VALOCAKE, which further focuses on the valorisation of one specific protein source: rapeseed press cake.

Responding to the rapidly rising demand for food

The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) estimates that food production needs to increase by 60-70% to feed around 9.2 billion people by 2050. This demand for food cannot be covered by increased production of existing sources. 

Protein is perhaps the most challenging macronutrient when it comes to sustainable production. At this moment, animal-derived products are still the main protein and food ingredient sources. Unfortunately, the livestock industry is one of the most significant contributors to the acute environmental problems of global warming, land degradation, air and water pollution and loss of biodiversity. 

Therefore, it is necessary to tap into plant-based and hybrid ingredients from new sources. And we need to turn plant-based production side streams that are currently used as animal feed into tasty food ingredients.

PROVE: tapping into new sustainable sources of proteins to secure the future of food

In this context, the PROVE project was set up. It stands for ’Functionalisation and valorisation of PROteins and VEgetable sources’. The project had seven partners (including Puratos) investigating how to gain access to plant-based protein ingredients from production side streams as food that is suitable for human consumption. Learn all about the set-up and learnings of the PROVE project

VALOCAKE: zooming in on the valorisation of side streams

The PROVE project showed that efficient use of raw materials plays an important role in the transition towards a sustainable bioeconomy. In particular, the utilisation of production side streams (or by-products) generated in the agriculture and food chain as food and other valuable commodities is essential. This is why a new project was set up within EIT FOOD, with the majority of the partners remaining on board: VALOCAKE.

VALOCAKE focuses on the valorisation of rapeseed press cake – a side product of the oil pressing industry – into functional food ingredients and food products. Once the challenges related to anti-nutritional compounds and off-flavour are solved and technological quality is diversified, rapeseed press cake has the potential to be a sustainable source of valuable proteins, dietary fibre, and bioactive compounds for human nutrition.

VALOCAKE adopts clean processes, such as fermentation, to upgrade the rapeseed press cake-derived protein and protein-fibre powders into functional food ingredients and tasty food products in bakery, patisserie and meat substitution categories.

The importance of new protein sources for Puratos

Puratos is in this project with 5 other partners: VTT, University of Helsinki, DIL, TUM and NapiFeryn. This topic is extremely important to us, because we are always looking for solutions that are future-proof: nutritious, sustainable and healthy. It’s a key challenge to develop solutions with these new sources, while maintaining taste and nutritional value. Bakery products are an important source of proteins. And in patisserie, animal proteins have always been very functional. Baking a cake without eggs is quite challenging. The learnings from this project are therefore very important to Puratos and will be taken into future projects and opportunities.

Are you curious about other future-proof solutions that Puratos is contributing to? Discover how bread, bananas and potatoes can be reprocessed into new tasty products, or how we explore using new technologies for clean(er) label products.