International sustainable food organisation Foodvalley NL has launched a new challenge for startups developing nutritious and upcycled plant-based products.
Foodvalley is seeking the next generation of plant-based foods to help feed a fast-growing global population. According to the organisation, while many alt-protein products have excellent taste and structure, their nutritional value could be improved.
Additionally, there are several food industry sidestreams — such as wheat byproducts and press-cakes from vegetable oil production — that could potentially be used to make plant-based meat and dairy alternatives, reducing waste. These byproducts are often protein-rich, high in fibre, and low in sugar, making them nutritious as well as sustainable.
Startups applying for the challenge should ideally meet both criteria, producing plant-based proteins that are nutritious and contain upcycled ingredients. FoodValley is especially keen to hear from producers targeting specific demographics, such as athletes or children.
Upcycled plant-based products
A growing number of companies are using food industry byproducts to make innovative plant-based foods. These include Wunderkern, which has developed plant milks made from apricot stones, and Luya, an alt-meat producer using okara (a byproduct of tofu and soymilk production) as its main ingredient. Another example is Israel’s More Foods, which makes meat alternatives from upcycled pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
As part of the new challenge, FoodValley will support successful applicants by accelerating innovation and business growth. This may include providing access to facilities, resources, investors, and potential partnerships.
The most promising businesses will receive support to further develop and commercialise their products. Applications for the challenge will be open until November 15.