Market & Trends

Netherlands Continues as Hotspot for Plant-Based Research and Innovation

Dutch National Science Agenda (NWA) has approved funding for research on an animal-free milk protein and contributes €1.7 million to the project, as the centre of plant-based research and innovation, the Wageningen Food Valley, continues to grow. Meanwhile, AAK‘s Plant-Based Foods Global Centre of Excellence launches in the region.

The aim of the alt milk project is to produce a milk protein from yeast that is intended to provide a sustainable and animal-free protein alternative with the same nutritional value and structure as dairy, including further planning to identify how this protein can be embedded in society, as reported by Mirage News.

The project is carried out in collaboration with Alpina Productos Alimenticios S.A., a Colombian dairy giant operating in many Latin American countries and the US. The list of high-profile supporters also includes the Dutch startup Those Vegan Cowboys and the Australian government agency CSIRO, which was involved in the creation of the domestic plant-based giant V2 Food.

The founders of meat alternatives company The Vegetarian Butcher have announced they are starting a new company focused on dairy alternatives. It will be known as Those Vegan Cowboys.
© Those Vegan Cowboys

The research project is coordinated by Wageningen University & Research. In an interview with vegconomist in October, Martijn Lammers, Senior Advisor Agrofood at the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, stressed the role of the university as an innovative forerunner for domestic research in the field of plant-based food by saying that “at the center of our R&D capabilities, you’ll find Wageningen University & Research [as] the number one agriculture university in the world.”

Also near Wageningen Food Valley, the Plant-Based Foods Global Centre of Excellence of the Swedish-Danish producer of plant-based oils and fats, AAK, will soon open its doors. In addition, industry giants Unilever and Upfield have both announced the establishment of further vegan innovation centres in the region, as reported by LIVEKINDLY.

Upfield Flora Plant

Niall Sands, President of Plant-Based Foods at AAK told LIVEKINDLY: “Considering the Netherlands is one of Europe’s largest Agri-food markets, there is already a large network of food manufacturers, peers in the food ingredient segment, as well as the knowledge and research within the Wageningen Food Valley.”

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