Meat Analogue developed by Lund University

© Lund University

Science

Lund University Researchers Uncover Optimal Raw Material Blend for the Most Appealing Plant-Based Meat

Food technology researchers at Lund University in Sweden have found the best raw material combination to make the most appetizing plant-based meat using extrusion: wheat gluten and hemp seed. The research, led by Karolina Östbring and Jeanette Purhagen, focuses on creating alternatives that mimic the texture and consistency of real meat, addressing the common complaint that vegan food does not deliver the “meaty” experience.   Focusing on texture, temperature, and taste — the three “Ts” — the team discovered a way to introduce chewiness into vegetable meat by imitating muscle fibers, using an extruder and various raw materials.  According to Purhagen, extruders are essential for producing meat analogs with suitable, long fibers, providing the desired chewy texture that people appreciate in meat.  Finding the optimal combination  …

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Arla JÖRĐ, a relaunch of Arla Food's 100% plant-based brand JÖRĐ, has debuted in Sweden this week, offering a range of oat-based products.

© Arla JÖRĐ

Products & Launches

World’s 5th Biggest Dairy Company Arla Foods Relaunches JÖRĐ Brand in Sweden

Arla JÖRĐ, a relaunch of Arla Food’s 100% plant-based brand JÖRĐ, has debuted in Sweden this week, offering a range of oat-based products. Arla JÖRD features the dairy giant’s logo, a new color scheme, and the products have a new enhanced recipe. According to The Grocer, the relaunch aims to homogenize the brand with other Arla products, including Arla Cravendale and Arla Lactofree. Best product mix The Swedish launch features six products, including fermented and flavored yogurts, oat drinks, and barista milk for making coffee and latte art. JÖRĐ’s range is made with Swedish oats. The new recipe is said be packed with proteins and enriched with essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamin D, and folic acid (B9). Additionally, all the products are lactose-free and …

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Image courtesy of Stockeld Dreamery

Products & Launches

Stockeld Dreamery Unveils MELT: Next Generation, Ultra Meltable, Cultured Plant-Based Cheddar Slices

After four years of extensive R&D, Stockeld Dreamery, a Swedish plant-based dairy company, announces the release of its latest development in New York City: MELT, cultured plant-based cheddar slices. MELT slices are made with traditional cheese fermentation and protein-rich pea milk. They are said to have a unique taste and texture, boasting a great cheddar flavor.  They contain 2g of plant protein per serving, which, according to Stockeld Dreamery, is higher than similar products in the market. In addition, they are free from allergens such as dairy, soy, and nuts. Melting twice as fast As explained by Sorosh Tavakoli, CEO and co-founder of the company, one of the exceptional features of its cheddar slices is their incredible melting properties. The slices melt twice as quickly as most top-selling …

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Studies & Numbers

Study: Meat & Dairy Alternatives Have Similar Environmental Benefits to Whole Plant Foods

A study published in the journal Nature Communications has examined the environmental impact of replacing animal-source foods (ASFs) with plant-based alternatives (PBAs) or whole plant foods (WFs). Using Sweden as a model, the study found that diets rich in PBAs could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30–52%, land use by 20–45%, and freshwater use by 14–27%. The greatest benefits were seen with fully vegan diets. When ASFs were replaced with WFs instead of PBAs, the benefits were comparable. The researchers note that a diet rich in PBAs meets most of the updated Nordic Nutrition Recommendations, which were published last year and recommend a mostly plant-based diet. Eating PBAs enhances iron, magnesium, folate, and fiber intake, while decreasing saturated fat consumption. However, three nutrients — vitamin …

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Quorn

© Quorn Foods

Studies & Numbers

Swedish Researchers Find Consumers Choose Fungi-Based Food for Sustainability and Well-Being Benefits

Swedish researchers conducted a study to examine whether consumers select fungi-based food due to its sustainability advantages. The findings show that engaging with fungi-based food is perceived to contribute to sustainability and is thought to promote glocal (a portmanteau of global and local) well-being. The study argues that as the consumption of fungi-based food continues to grow in popularity, it is essential to understand whether consumers align their choices with personal values related to sustainability. Awareness and knowledge of the benefits of fungi and plant-based food are vital to encourage consumers and influence their food choices, which can contribute to global social, economic, and environmental sustainability, explain the authors.  The research has been funded by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth and the …

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SHICKEN Foods founders and team in kitchen

© SHICKEN Foods

Company News

SHICKEN Poised for Multi-Million Growth Amid Global Expansion Plans Including Sprouts Stores in 23 US States

UK challenger brand SHICKEN reveals it is set to achieve five times its current growth having secured distribution at Sprouts Farmers Market in the US for its popular range of frozen ready meals, along with the launch of NPD Teriyaki Kebab Skewer at Costco throughout the UK and newly-secured European markets. SHICKEN was founded by husband-and-wife team Parm and Satvinder Bains in 2020 during lockdown, creating dishes based on traditional Asian recipes passed down by Satvinder’s grandmother. The “chicken” meat is crafted with a blend of soy, wheat, and pea proteins, using a unique technology and with a focus on natural plant-based ingredients. After receiving investment from Matthew Glover’s Veg Capital in October 2021, the company first launched its Tikka Kebab Skewers into Costco UK, …

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Scelta mushroom fat

Image: Scelta / vegconomist

Ingredients

These 3 Companies Are Creating Healthy Fat Alternatives From Mushrooms

Today, we look into three companies using mushrooms to create healthy fats for plant-based foods. Interest in mushrooms continues to grow among consumers and manufacturers since these wonders of nature, neither plants nor animals, offer exceptional functionality, encompassing supplements, textiles, meat alternatives, beverages, colorings, and now fats.  Some mushrooms have a high lipid content, composed of unsaturated fatty acids, that can be used to replace vegetable and saturated fats. According to Brazilian researchers, edible mushrooms worldwide contain linoleic, linolenic, and oleic acids (some more than others), making them an important essential fatty acid source for a healthy diet.  The global mushroom market is expected to reach $115.8 billion by 2030, and mushrooms were named Ingredient of the Year by The New York Times in 2022. 1. Scelta Mushrooms Scelta Mushrooms, …

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Leading plant-based milk brands urge Swedish government to push for change in EU School Scheme Review

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Milk- and Dairy Alternatives

Oatly, Alpro, DUG, Planti, and More Urge Swedish Government to Push for Plant-Based Milk in EU School Scheme Review

Oatly, Alpro (Danone), DUG (Veg of Lund), Planti, Oddlygood, and Sproud, under the umbrella of Plant-based Sweden (Växtbaserat Sverige), have sent a letter to the Swedish government urging it to advocate for the inclusion of plant-based milk in the upcoming review of the EU School Scheme. Currently, the EU School Scheme aids over 20 million European children by providing them with milk, fruit, and vegetables. However, it does not encompass milk alternatives, even though numerous children are unable or unwilling to consume dairy due to medical, ethical, taste, or environmental concerns. Last year, ProVeg and The Vegan Society collected tens of thousands of signatures calling for the EU to add plant-based milk to the scheme. The Green REV Institute also issued an open letter calling for plant milk in schools, arguing that …

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Mans Ullerstam. © Kale United

Fundraising

Kale United Aims to Raise 12M SEK in Preparation for IPO

Leading Nordic plant-based investor Kale United has started a new funding round with the goal of raising 12 million SEK (€1.03 million). The round will be active until December 1, with a third of shares already booked. It comes as Kale United prepares for an IPO in Q2 2025. Some of the capital raised will be used to launch a fund for sustainable investments, which will cater to large institutional investors. The fund will also provide capital to Kale United’s portfolio companies, increasing the investor’s assets under management by 150 million SEK (€12.9 million). Following the raise, Kale United plans to continue investing in both new and existing portfolio companies. The investor says it foresees high growth for its subsidiary, Kale Foods, which distributes its …

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Veg of Lund applies for Swedish patent

Eva Tornberg. © Veg of Lund

Company News

Veg of Lund Applies for Swedish Patent for Plant-Based Meat Alternative

Veg of Lund — a Swedish company best known for its potato-based alt milk brand, DUG — has applied for a Swedish patent for a plant-based alternative to red and white meat. The company says it is in ongoing commercial discussions with various partners, and the patent will help to secure its position. It is unclear what the new meat alternatives will be made from. Veg of Lund’s patent portfolio already includes patents for DUG milk alternatives in Europe, the US, and Canada, along with potato-based smoothies, cream, and ice cream in Sweden. “The patent for the meat analogue is extensive and I am proud of our fundamental development work. The patent secures our unique competence and is important when we are going to commercialise …

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IKEA's new SLAGVERK vegan nuggets

© IKEA

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

IKEA Introduces “SLAGVERK” Vegan Nuggets in Sweden

As part of its reported sustainability targets and commitment to make 50% of canteen food and 80% of retail food plant-based by 2025, IKEA has been increasing its vegan offerings worldwide, from plant balls in Canada to beef-style bowls in Japan, and the more recent PLANT-HOTDOG across Europe. Now the Swedish company is announcing another new product with the wheat-based “SLAGVERK” nuggets. The new product will be available in the Swedish shops of IKEA furniture stores on October 24, 2023, as frozen goods to take away. The nuggets can be stored in the freezer and then prepared quickly and easily in the pan or in the oven. Making vegan options affordable In order to make the healthier and more sustainable alternative available to as many …

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DUG lifestyle lady pouring milk cereal

© DUG

Company News

Veg of Lund Receives US Patent for DUG’s Vegan Potato Emulsion

Swedish plant-based company Veg of Lund announces it has received patent approval from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its vegan potato emulsion used in its DUG potato drinks. The patent protection will cover the entire US market. Veg of Lund’s patent portfolio includes protection for potato ice cream covering the Swedish market and a patent for the improved recipe of its award-winning DUG drink in Sweden, Europe, and Canada. Additionally, the Swedish company has active patent applications in Australia, China, India, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates.  “We are pleased to note that a patent is also being approved for the American market for our unique vegetable milk alternatives,” says Eva Tornberg, founder of Veg of Lund. Tornberg founded …

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Oddlygood and Planti

© Oddlygood

Investments & Acquisitions

Oddlygood Acquires Planti, Securing Top Spots in Dairy Alternative Markets in Sweden and Finland

Finnish plant-based product manufacturer Oddlygood has recently made a significant move in the plant-based food industry by acquiring the Nordic brand Planti. This strategic acquisition places Oddlygood at the forefront of two prominent dairy alternative categories: spoonable snacks in Sweden and cooking products in Finland.  Founded in 2018, Oddlygood has rapidly grown its presence in the industry. The company recently secured a retail partnership with Morrisons in the UK, while also seeing success of its product lineup of oat drinks and spoonable snacks in the American and European markets.  In 2022, Oddlygood achieved a record turnover of €23.5 million, with projections pointing toward even greater profits this year.  CEO of Oddlygood, Niko Vuorenmaa emphasizes the significance of the Planti acquisition, highlighting: “Planti is our first …

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Mycorena partners with Atria Sweden to commercialise mycoprotein-based products

© Mycorena

Fungi, Mushrooms & Mycelium

Mycorena Partners With Leading Meat Company to Commercialise Mycoprotein-Based Products

Swedish mycoprotein producer Mycorena has announced it is partnering with leading animal meat supplier Atria Sweden to launch a range of mycoprotein-based products. The meat alternatives will be made with Mycorena’s mycoprotein ingredient, Promyc, which is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids. The protein is made using a proprietary fungal fermentation process. Atria Sweden — a leading producer of sausages, hamburgers, cold cuts, and other meat products for the retail and food service sectors — has entered into the collaboration with the aim of reducing its carbon footprint. As part of the partnership, Mycorena will scale up its production of Promyc, while Atria will use its product development capabilities to create a range of meat alternatives. “Mycoprotein is an exciting new Swedish …

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Foodiq Spoothie product in kitchen

© Foodiq

Investments & Finance

Nicoya AB Invests in Foodiq’s Innovative Alternative Dairy Tech

Foodiq a Nordic co-manufacturer that says it is committed to transforming the food industry, announces it has received investment from Swedish foodtech investment company Nicoya to support the company’s growth and expansion. According to its own statements, Nicoya has set itself the goal of achieving a positive impact on people, planet and health through the investment.  Foodiq is currently introducing its dairy-free Multi-Layer Cooking (MLC) technology, which aims to pave the way for ‘next generation’ plant-based foods. According to Foodiq — developer of Fabea+, an ingredient made from fermented fava beans — its MLC technology is intended to create the conditions for a transformative change towards a more sustainable and tastier food future. All-in-one processing Foodiq’s MLC technology provides the ability to perform multiple functions …

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Fotortec

© Fotortec

Company News

Chilean Biotech Fotortec Partners with Sustainable Firms to Introduce Food Waste Upcycling Technology in Sweden

Chilean biotech Fotortec announces a partnership with Swedish consultancy firms A Better Future AB and Xylo Sweden AB to introduce its innovative food waste upcycling technology and mushroom-based ingredients into the Swedish market.  Fotortec aims to redefine waste by repurposing food waste or by-products into new and valuable items. The company has developed a scalable technology for cultivating mushrooms using food waste. These mushrooms can be transformed into beneficial ingredients, including flavor enhancers, protein isolates, fertilizer, energy-boosting methane gas, animal feed, and raw materials suitable for packaging. The company franchises its technology to third parties and this collaboration marks Fotortec’s expansion into the Nordics. Better Future AB and Xylo Sweden AB will represent Fotortec in Sweden, promoting sustainable and circular solutions for the region, aligning with their sustainable future goals. “This …

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Oatly expands in Amazon marketplace to meet the growing demand for oat milk in Europe

© Oatly Germany GmbH

Company News

Oatly Expands with Amazon to Meet Rising Demand for Plant-Based Milk in Europe

Swedish oat milk manufacturer Oatly and marketplace Amazon are joining forces to make plant-based milk more accessible to European customers.  Oatly (Nasdaq: OTLY) today announced an expansion of its direct relationship with Amazon through a new pan-European arrangement: Oatly oat drinks will be on Amazon’s markets, including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, and Belgium.  Under the arrangement, Oatly will list its most popular oat drinks on the platform, including Oatly Barista Edition, Oatly Light, Oatly Semi, Oatly Whole, Oatly “No” Sugars, and Mini Barista. Additionally, Amazon Prime members will receive the products at Prime speed, alongside subscribe and saving money options.  Bryan Carroll, General Manager of UK & Ireland, will lead a new pan-European business group to manage the Amazon relationship. Making plant-based milk accessible …

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dan-gold-unsplash-courtesy LiveGreen

Image courtesy LiveGreen

Health

Updated Nordic Nutrition Recommendations Advise Plant-Forward Diet With Minimal Meat

The much-anticipated sixth edition of the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR) has finally been published, taking into account sustainability as well as health. The report has made headlines by recommending a mostly plant-based diet, rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. It advises that meat consumption should be restricted to a maximum of 350 grams per week, while dairy consumption should be moderate and limited to low-fat products. Alcohol, processed foods, and products high in fat, sugar, and salt should all be kept to a minimum. Along with advising a shift in dietary patterns, the report has increased recommended intakes for nutrients such as vitamin C and folate, while adding recommendations for other nutrients such as vitamin K and choline for the first time. …

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Oumph! Smash Burger

© Oumph!

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Oumph! Launches Fava & Pea Smash Burger, the “First Ever” Vegan Smash Burger in Sweden

Award-winning Swedish plant meat brand Oumph! introduces a smash burger created with pea and fava beans, stating the launch makes Oumph! the first Swedish brand to launch a plant-based smash burger.   The product is initially targeted at foodservice, launching into 80+ locations of the Brödernas chain with more restaurants to follow, then it is set to roll out into supermarket retail. Positive consumer feedback at the Fast Food & Café show in Stockholm earlier this year, included comments such as, “This is the best plant-based burger I’ve ever tried” and “WHAT? Is this plant-based?”   Smash burgers represent an emerging trend in foodservice, entailing a larger patty designed for the cooking method of smashing the ‘meat’ into the grill with a spatula resulting in …

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Meat alternatives made from fermented Swedish peas

© Bärta

Investments & Acquisitions

Bärta Seeks SEK 3M for Alt Meats Made From Fermented Swedish Peas Following 26% YOY Growth

Sweden’s Bärta is aiming to raise up to SEK 3 million (around $277,000) in an ongoing funding round conducted via fundraising platform Pepins. Several investors — including Kale United, Aggregate Media, and Michel Bracké — have already participated. It comes after unit sales of the brand’s meat alternatives, which are made from organic fermented Swedish peas, increased by 26% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2023. Bärta describes its plant-based meats as “premium vegan products” with a high nutritional value, a rich flavour, and a very low environmental impact. Currently, five frozen and three chilled products are available, including fish-style fillets, marinated chunks, and burgers. Most of the products have a very simple ingredient list, featuring peas, fermentation cultures, rapeseed oil, and sea salt. The …

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