Raisio & Nordic Umami Company upcycle by-products for natural umami
24 May 2022 --- Raisio and the Nordic Umami Company are partnering to explore opportunities for upcycling Raisio’s plant-based side streams to develop natural umami.
The partnership supports Raisio’s corporate responsibility program, as one of its aims is to minimize food and production waste and better utilize by-products.
Demand for tastier plant-based protein
The Nordic Umami Company develops sustainable flavor innovations from food industry by-products. It focuses on umami, the “meaty” and savory flavor that can be missing from some plant-based proteins.
“Younger generations are demanding alternative proteins. Plant-based proteins lack umami, and natural, sustainable umami sources are not yet on the market,” Tytti-Lotta Ojala, chief design officer at the Nordic Umami Company tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
“We want to be able to use a wide base of circular ingredients to develop and produce natural umami. The partnership allows us to learn about new ingredients and scale our tech from lab to industry size.”
In a similar move, Ohly recently developed a yeast-based braised chicken-flavored modifier to cater to vegetarian consumers’ cravings for comfort food.
In a process based on nature enhancing nature, the Nordic Umami Company has developed food technology that can extract this umami from plant-based ingredients. However, the technology has a patent-pending.
In cooperation with Raisio, the Nordic Umami Company is now exploring and researching possibilities to use its technology to create value from Raisio’s production side streams. The goal is to return the upcycled product to Raisio’s production.
“Nordic Umami Company aims to accelerate the development of a sustainable food system. The partnership with Raisio enables us to develop our umami technology further and helps us scale our production to an industrial level,” says Ojala.
Food chain value
According to research, as much as 14% of edible food is lost in the value chain before retail.
“We share mutual goals with the Nordic Umami Company. We also want to build a sustainable food system, and the partnership holds a lot of potential for both parties,” adds Raisio’s chief business officer, Annika Boström-Kumlin.
The partnership project widely utilizes side streams from Raisio’s production. The primary target is to upcycle these plant-based by-products into new food ingredients. The secondary goal is to find opportunities to use the created umami in Raisio’s products.
“The innovation by the Nordic Umami Company is a welcome addition for naturally enhancing umami,” notes Boström-Kumlin.
Raisio and the Nordic Umami Company have agreed to partner until the end of 2022, with the option of continuing for longer.
Ingredients and by-products spotlighted
Ingredients that can enhance taste and contribute to cleaner labels are on-trend, as consumers pay more attention to the health and naturalness of their food.
FoodIngredientsFirst recently spoke with taste and texture specialists Hydrosol, Kerry, Angel Yeast, Griffith Foods and Givaudan on taste optimization techniques for healthier savory foods.
Meanwhile, upcycling is also driving innovation across industry. Earlier this month, Fazer revealed it is upcycling oat hulls generated at its mills to create xylitol, a sugar replacer with 40% fewer calories (2,4 kcal/g), starting its commercial production.
Upcycling has also been spotlighted for mitigating losses across F&B.
The current food waste crisis can also be tackled using smarter upcycling methods. This was previously highlighted on last September’s International Day of Awareness of Food Loss.
Edited by Elizabeth Green
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