Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Finland’s VTT Develops Realistic Meat Alternatives Using Local Crops and Cell Ag

Finland’s VTT Technical Research Centre, one of Europe’s leading research institutes, announces the successful development of realistic meat alternatives using a breakthrough scientific approach that creates hybrid products.

“We need nutritional and healthy foods that are indistinguishable from animal-based meat”  

The research centre claims it possesses a “unique toolbox” that combines plant-based and cellular agriculture ingredients to replicate the building blocks of animal meat, such as proteins and lipids, to create alternative meats with a 100% identical sensory experience.

vtt's image for a post on biotechnology, showing a woman and a man sharing knowledge depicted using symbols
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

VTT’s multi-technique approach will allow food producers to turn “under-utilised” or local crops such as fava beans and sorghum into next-generation alternatives to meat on an industrial scale. One of the main features of its scientific approach, VTT says, is that it unlocks the high nutritional value of plant-based raw materials rarely used in mainstream meat alternative products.  

Nesli Sözer, research professor at VTT, commented: “We use cellular agriculture-based techniques combined with our long-term expertise working with challenging, plant-based raw materials to transform nutritious, local crops into delicious foodstuffs that offer an identical sensory experience to animal-based meat.”

Scalable realistic meat alternatives

Using diverse, climate-resistant local crops like oats, peas, and beans to make meat alternatives is a sustainable and scalable solution to meet the soaring global demand for meat while supporting food security and resilience, VTT explains.

“To solve these challenges, we need plant-based meat that can genuinely satiate demand and that can be scaled to improve food security and nutrition for all,” adds Sözer.

vtt's orange banner for its 80th anniversary that says: "8'0 years of courage & beyond."
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

As global demand for meat continues to skyrocket, VTT says it is seeking to collaborate with food and raw-material producers to accelerate alternative meat innovations and help the industry to address scaling, nutrition, and sustainability challenges. 

Consumer acceptance is key

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is a research organization focusing on applied research and technology development. It is headquartered in Espoo, Finland, and was founded in 1942. VTT aims to tackle the world’s biggest challenges, and plant-based food, cellular agriculture, and agile manufacturing are key areas that can provide new opportunities for sustainable food systems, the research centre states.

“Consumer acceptance is key in developing feasible business around plant-based protein ingredients for meat alternatives. More is needed for something to look like meat. We need nutritional and healthy foods that are indistinguishable from animal-based meat in every way, that allows people everywhere to enjoy the experience of meat, without the guilt,” Sözer concluded.

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