Danish Crown admits to misleading consumers

Image courtesy of the Vegetarian Society of Denmark.

Politics & Law

Danish Crown Admits to Misleading Consumers by Claiming Pork is Climate-Friendly

Europe’s largest pork producer, Danish Crown, has admitted that it misled consumers by claiming that “Danish pork is more climate-friendly than you think”. The news comes after the Vegetarian Society of Denmark and the Climate Movement Association brought a case against Danish Crown for making unsubstantiated claims about the sustainability of its products. Last month, the Western High Court convicted Danish Crown of greenwashing for using the phrase “Climate-controlled pig”, but disagreed that some of the company’s other climate claims were misleading. Convinced that the claims did constitute greenwashing, The Vegetarian Society of Denmark and the Climate Movement Association chose to appeal. However, on April 12 Danish Crown contacted the Supreme Court to admit that it had misled consumers, just a few days after the …

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Image courtesy of Swan Neck Bio

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Swan Neck Bio Launches FlexCell for Fast and Affordable Fermentation Scaling

Swan Neck Bio, a spin-off from White Labs Copenhagen, a global leader in fermentation since 1995, has officially entered the market to unlock the biomanufacturing capacity of precision fermentation and biomass companies. Headquartered in Copenhagen, with supporting labs and production capabilities in the USA (California and North Carolina), Swan Neck Bio leverages a patented “breakthrough” technology developed by White Labs.  Called FlexCell, the technology allows companies to trial, validate, and scale microorganisms from the lab to 1,000 L more quickly and affordably. Fábio Faria-Oliveira, CSO of the company, shares: “Our dream is a world where there are no constraints to the innovative biosolutions our world urgently needs if we’re going to support a constantly growing population.”  Scaling without risks Troels Prahl, a microbiologist with over 20 …

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Veganism recognised as a protected belief in Denmark

Image courtesy of the Vegetarian Society of Denmark.

Politics & Law

Veganism Recognised as a Protected Belief by Danish Court in “Milestone Win”

A lower court in the city of Hjorring, Denmark, has ruled that veganism is a protected belief under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case was brought by the Vegetarian Society of Denmark on behalf of a small child and her parents. The child had been denied the right to plant-based meals at her kindergarten, and the municipality running the institution had also refused to allow her to bring a packed lunch. In a “milestone win”, the court ruled that the child and her parents had been discriminated against, as they were prevented from practicing their way of living. It acknowledged that vegans have the right not to be “treated worse than people without vegan convictions who are in a similar …

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Ganni bags made with BioFluff plant-based fur alternative

© Ganni

Fashion, Design & Beauty

Denmark’s Ganni Unveils Bags Made With Plant-Based Fur Alternative BioFluff

Danish fashion brand Ganni has exhibited special edition bags made with a plant-based fur alternative at Copenhagen Fashion Week. The bags are based on the design of Ganni’s popular Bou bags, while the fur is made by biomaterials startup BioFluff. Claimed to be the world’s first fully plant-based fur alternative, the material is called Savian and contains fibres from plants such as nettles, flax, and hemp. It is entirely free of plastics and can be coloured using natural dyes. BioFluff raised $2.5 million in seed funding in November, in a round led by agrifood tech investor Astanor Ventures. Ganni also unveiled bags made from two other innovative materials at Copenhagen Fashion Week. One is manufactured using Celium, a leather alternative produced by Spanish biomaterials company …

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Novozymes and Chr. Hansen, two leading companies in the biosolutions industry, have successfully merged, forming a new entity called Novonesis.

© Novonesis

Company News

Novozymes and Chr. Hansen Merge to Form Novonesis: A Global Biosolutions Powerhouse with €3.7 Billion Annual Revenue

The world’s largest provider of microbial technologies and enzymes, Novozymes, and Chr. Hansen, a bioscience supplier, have successfully merged to form Novonesis, a global partner for multiple industries, creating biosolutions for better lives and a healthier planet. The Danish merger — reportedly the largest ever in the country — was finalized following the final registration with the Danish Business Authority. According to the announcement, the combined group will have annual revenue of approximately €3.7 billion. Novonesis brings together 10,000 people worldwide and an expertise that spans more than 30 different industries under the leadership of Ester Baiget, former CEO of Novozymes. “We have gathered the brightest minds and together with my 10,000 colleagues, we will unlock the limitless potential of biosolutions,” shared Ester Baiget, now President and CEO …

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21st.BIO's team

© 21st.BIO

Manufacturing & Technology

21st.BIO Opens Access to its Large-Scale Production Platform for Animal-Free Dairy Proteins

21st.BIO, a Danish bioproduction firm offering integrated end-to-end services, announces that it is granting access to its precision fermentation technology platform to produce animal-free dairy proteins. The new service aims to offer ingredient manufacturers, from startups to leading companies, cost-effective solutions to accelerate the development of sustainable dairy proteins at a competitive cost. 21st.BIO states it has the industry’s most advanced precision fermentation technology platform for large-scale production. Its fermentation technology is partly licensed from Novonesis (a merger of Novozymes and Chr. Hansen Holding), which has developed its platform over several decades to produce food-grade ingredients. Thomas Schmidt, CEO of 21st.BIO, comments: “We founded 21st.BIO with one simple mission: to make precision fermentation technology accessible to as many companies as possible, so they can successfully take their …

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AMSilk and 21st.BIO join forces to scale silk protein materials production.

© AMSilk

Materials

AMSilk and 21st.BIO Forge Alliance to Scale Bioproduced Spider Silk Proteins “From Kilos to Tons”

German Biotech AMSilk GmbH announces a partnership with the Danish bioproduction leader 21st.BIO, to accelerate the production of advanced bioproduced spider silk proteins to meet the growing demand for sustainable material solutions. As part of the collaboration, 21st.BIO has developed precision-fermented microorganisms that can be used to produce silk proteins on an industrial scale. According to 21st.BIO, the new strain ensures the extracellular expression of silk proteins while enabling biomanufacturing at unprecedented productivity levels, supporting higher yield, greater efficiency, and reduced production costs.  Gudrun Vogtentanz, CSO at AMSilk, shares: “Through 21st.BIO, we now have access to more efficient production strains, which are a game changer in terms of the efficiency and sustainability of our feedstock. Moving production quantities from kilos to tons brings AMSilk’s technology to the next …

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Studies & Numbers

Danish Report Outlines Six Ways to Boost Sales of Organic Plant-Based Foods

A report by Dansk Vegetarisk Forening (the Vegetarian Society of Denmark) and Fonden for Okologisk Landbrug (The Foundation for Organic Agriculture) has analysed the potential of organic plant-based foods to be sold in grocery stores and food service outlets. The report is based on the results of a four-month field study which included interviewing key stakeholders, observations in supermarkets, and participating in relevant events. Based on the research, the report’s authors have compiled several recommendations targeted at different levels of the supply chain. There are six key takeaways: Taste — External and impartial taste assessors should be used to ensure plant-based foods taste as good as possible, along with a diverse panel of taste judges such as consumers, chefs, and colleagues from other departments. Buyers …

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Vegetables, legumes, and seeds on top of a table.

© Fonden For Plantebaserede Fodevarer

Politics & Law

Denmark’s Plant Fund Assigns DKK 58M for the First 36 Selected Plant-Based Food Projects

The Danish Foundation for Plant-Based Foods (Fonden For Plantebaserede Fodevarer) has announced the first 36 selected projects of the Plant Fund (Plantefonden) — a DKK 675 million ($100M) a government initiative to promote climate-friendly plant-based food until 2030. The selected projects will receive DKK 58.2 million in funding to support the country’s first phase of its plant-based food agenda: developing new food options, training kitchen staff, and launching national awareness campaigns to promote plant-based foods. Thirty-three of the projects are scheduled to begin work in January 2024. Plantefonden was established to bolster the development of the plant-based food sector. It is part of the Agreement on the Green Transition of Danish Agriculture (to reduce GHG emissions) signed in October 2021. Additionally, a few months ago, the Danish …

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Henrik Lund, founder & CEO of Naturli

Henrik Lund © NATURLI’ Foods

Interviews

Naturli: “We Are Convinced That We Have the Best Vegan Butter on the Market”

The Danish brand NATURLI’, a subsidiary of the Norwegian group Orkla, has been respected for its 100% plant-based products based on selected organic ingredients since its foundation in 1988. The NATURLI’ range now includes a wide range of vegan foods and beverages, including vegan ice cream, vegan yogurt, and meat alternatives, in addition to its famous butter. In the past few months, NATURLI’ has successfully built up its own sales department for the food service sector, among other things, and would like to focus even more on this area in the future. The company was also represented at the last ANUGA, the world’s leading trade fair for food and beverages in Cologne, where it presented a number of new product innovations. We spoke in an …

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Researchers have presented a study with guiding principles to help policymakers accelerate a transition — fair for all— to a more sustainable and healthy food system.

© Вячеслав Думчев-stock.adobe.com

Studies & Numbers

One Health Study Calls for “Just Transition” to Plant-Based Diets

Researchers from the Stockholm Environment Institute have presented a study with guiding principles to help policymakers accelerate a transition — fair for all — to a more sustainable and healthy food system based on plant-based foods. Led by Cleo Verkuijl and part of a policy forum article published in the CABI One Health, the paper argues that a just transition in animal agriculture is necessary for more effective and equitable One Health outcomes.  One Health is an approach that emphasizes the need for a transdisciplinary understanding that health relies on the interconnections between humans, animals, plants, ecosystems, and their shared environment.  In the study, the researchers highlight that the impact of current industrial animal agriculture practices, including the emergence of infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, climate change, biodiversity loss, and …

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the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark has unveiled its national action plan for plant-based foods.

© Simple Feast

Politics & Law

Denmark Becomes the First Country to Develop a National Action Plan to Promote Plant-Based Foods

The Good Food Institute Europe has announced that the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark has released its national action plan for plant-based foods. Denmark is the first country to develop such a strategy to strengthen and promote the country’s plant-based sector as part of the necessary shift toward climate-friendly diets — setting a global standard for climate action. Acacia Smith, senior policy manager at the Good Food Institute Europe, said: “Europe is the world’s biggest market for plant-based meat, and to take advantage of this growing industry – as well as to boost food security and create future-proof green jobs – other national governments across the continent should follow the Danish lead.” The long-awaited national action plan is part of the 2021 climate agreement to reduce …

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© Department of Food Science - University of Copenhagen

Science

Study Shows the Potential of Natural Fermentation to Make Realistic Plant-Based Cheese

In new University of Copenhagen research, scientists demonstrated the potential of natural fermentation to produce climate-friendly plant-based cheese with similar sensory properties as its dairy counterpart. Making realistic plant-based cheese has been challenging since plant proteins behave differently than proteins found in milk. The study highlights that cheese producers add starch, coconut oil, and flavorings to achieve firm textures and dairy-like flavors. However, the research, led by scientist Carmen Masiá in collaboration between the Department of Food Science and microbial ingredients supplier Chr. Hansen shows that natural fermentation and bacteria produce dairy-free cheeses with a firm texture and improved taste, aroma, and mouthfeel. “Fermentation is an incredibly powerful tool to develop flavor and texture in plant-based cheeses. In this study, we show that bacteria can …

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© Novozymes

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Novozymes Launches New Clean-Label Biosolution for “Perfect Textures” in Plant-Based Meat

Novozymes (NASDAQ OMX: NZYM-B), one of the world’s largest providers of microbial technologies and enzymes, has launched Vertera®ProBite, a new clean-label product that the company claims delivers “perfect textures” in plant-based meat. The Danish company says that its new biosolution addresses consumers’ concerns about the texture and long ingredient lists of alt meat, ultimately encouraging more people to choose sustainable food options. A study conducted by the company shows that 95% of consumers think plant-based meat should improve. According to the 2023 Unmet Needs Discovery Survey by the Plant-Based Food Association, texture is the number one factor dissuading consumers from adopting plant-based alternatives. “Now’s the time to raise the (burger) bar and find perfect textures that consumers will love inside plants,” states Novozymes. Unlocking the potential …

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MATR Foods meat alternatives made via fungal fermentation

© MATR Foods

Fungi, Mushrooms & Mycelium

MATR Foods Uses Fungal Fermentation & Upcycled Veg to Make “New Generation” of Alt Meats

MATR Foods is a Danish startup producing sustainable meat alternatives via fungal fermentation. Made with just five ingredients — oats, split peas, lupin, beetroot, and potatoes — the products are described as a “new generation” of plant-based food. The ingredients used are organic, upcycled, and sourced from Danish farms. To transform them into meat alternatives, MATR adds natural fungi spores, which ferment the ingredients to give an umami flavor and firm bite. The resulting products are low in calories and high in fibre, with no additives. Success in European markets MATR’s product range includes plant-based steak, mince, and a block that can be cut into any shape. The meat alternatives have already launched at Sticks N’Sushi in the UK, Denmark, and Germany as part of …

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the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark has unveiled its national action plan for plant-based foods.

© Simple Feast

Politics & Law

Danish Government’s Plant Fund Reports “Great Interest” With Over 100 Applications

At the end of 2021, the Danish government announced the launch of a 675 million DKK (€90 million) Plant Fund dedicated to plant-based development and promotion. After applications for the first round of grants closed on August 31 of this year, the Plant Fund has reported “great interest”, with 101 submissions received. Applicants requested a total of over 207 million DKK (€27.76 million); however, only 58.2 million DKK (€8.38 million) has been allocated for this year. Consequently, the Plant Fund will prioritise projects related to developing demand promotion, specifically those that: Increase the amount of plant-based food prepared in commercial kitchens and food service outlets Increase private consumption of plant-based food Increase export demand for Danish plant-based foods. However, other projects may still be able …

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Naturli' becomes plant-based partner of Brentford FC

© Brentford FC/Naturli'

Company News

Naturli’ Becomes Official Plant-Based Partner of Brentford Football Club

Danish brand Naturli’ has been named as the official plant-based partner of UK Premier League football club Brentford FC. As part of the collaboration, Naturli’ will offer product samples on match days; the brand previously handed out free plant-based ice creams at Brentford’s game against Manchester City in May. The partnership has been described as “a significant step towards introducing fans to the world of plant-based food and cuisine”. Through various engaging activities, Naturli’ hopes to challenge preconceptions about plant-based food and enhance the experience of Brentford fans. “We warmly welcome Naturli’ as the official plant-based food partner of Brentford FC. Their commitment to taste, quality, and sustainability mirrors our values, and we’re enthusiastic about introducing their offerings to our fans and the Brentford team,” …

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© Naturli

Milk- and Dairy Alternatives

Naturli’: Redefining Vegan Excellence with Unparalleled Taste and Quality

Naturli‘ has emerged as a true pioneer in the realm of vegan products, captivating consumers with its exceptional offerings. From the heart of Denmark, the flavorful journey began in 2017, taking even the most hardcore butter-loving Danes by storm. Within just a couple of years, Naturli’ Plant Butter successfully created an entirely new category, redefining the possibilities of plant-based alternatives. Today, Naturli’ has expanded its reach to over 40 countries, proving that vegan alternatives can delight even the most devoted butter enthusiasts. “Our secret ingredient for creating exceptional vegan products? Going all in on incredible taste that leaves our customers craving more!” shares Henrik, the visionary behind Naturli’s success. “At Naturli’, taste is the ultimate driving force. We pour our hearts and taste buds into …

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EXBERRY by GNT new vivid orange features in foods

© EXBERRY by GNT

Ingredients

This Week in the Plant-Based Food Color Scene: New All-Terrain Vivid Orange and Fruity Blends for Meat Alternatives

This week sees plant-based food color NPDs from EXBERRY and Oterra. F&B manufacturers will leverage a new vivid orange for the confectionary and snacks and new fruity blends for meat analogs that change hues when cooked. As the sustainability trend demands a shift to plant-based foods and cosmetics, color additives derived from plants and minerals are in the spotlight as alternatives to colors synthesized from petroleum raw materials or insect-derived carmine (a cochineal extract). Color additives enhance food’s appeal, making it attractive, appetizing, and informative: “If that looks good, it must taste good.” According to Oterra, color influences 50-85% of​ purchase decisions. Besides plant-based colors, biotechnology is also developing color alternatives with companies such as Danish Chromologics, which uses fungal fermentation to make pigments that …

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Tempty Foods

© Marlow Ingredients/Tempty Foods

Studies & Numbers

Denmark’s Financial Sector Urged to Shift Investment Focus from Animal Ag to Plant-Based Foods

A new report called The Role of the Financial Sector in the Transition towards a More Plant-Based Food System shows that Denmark’s financial sector lacks the objectives, knowledge, and ambition to invest in sustainable foods while it continues to support animal agriculture. The study, which benchmarked 27 of the largest banks in Denmark, says that the sector is not financing the plant-based industry or the agricultural production of plant-derived crops enough, neglecting the potential of plant-based diets to address sustainability in the food system. Recently released by the Vegetarian Society of Denmark, Greenpeace, Green Transition Denmark, and Animal Protection Denmark, the report is said to be the most significant review of Danish banks’ actions regarding food production. A thread to the future “It seems like many banks fail …

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