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Food producers need more knowledge to be able to use Norwegian raw materials for developing healthy and appealing plant-based alternatives.

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Wenche Aale Hægermark  

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Nofima scientists gather and develop data about:

  • Which raw materials and raw material mixtures are best suited to different products based on their desired properties (functional, nutritional and sensory)
  • Which processing methods and parameters are best suited for different products, raw materials and raw material mixtures.

Little use of Norwegian raw materials

The aim is to obtain data that the food producers may utilize in order to save time on trial and error in their own experiments.

“There is little current use of Norwegian raw materials in plant-based meat substitutes on the market. We believe the data we gather can help producers catch up with foreign products”, says Nofima Senior Scientist Svein Halvor Knutsen.

He adds that they have also worked to develop several other plant-based products and ingredients, such as healthy protein-rich snacks.

Detailed and accurate knowledge

Nofima scientist Catia Saldanha do Carmo plays a key part in the mapping of suitable combinations of raw materials and processing methods. An important part of this work has been to obtain detailed data about the functionality and possible combinations of applicable machinery, as well as their effects on products.

“The technology I have mainly worked with is called extrusion, which makes it possible to process raw materials into the desired shape and texture. To determine optimum conditions I have studied the effects of the various extruder settings such as temperature, water content, input speed and rotational speed”, says Catia.

Among other things, she has developed prototypes for:

  • Healthy pea- and oat-based snack products rich in fibre and protein
  • Protein-rich meat substitutes based on fava beans

The research has been carried out as part of the project FoodProFuture and at the FoodPilotPlantNorway. Scan the QR code below to learn more.