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Dieses von der Gebert Rüf Stiftung geförderte Projekt wird von folgenden weiteren Projektpartnern mitgetragen:
Project no: GRS-055/19
Amount of funding: CHF 150'000
Duration: 10.2019 - 12.2020
Area of activity:
First Ventures, seit 2018
Michael Alistair Whyte
Hochschule für Agrar-, Forst- und Lebensmittelwissenschaften HAFL
3052 Zollikofen (Schweiz)
- michael.whyte@bfh. ch
Project Fermeat began as a Masters thesis topic with around 40 kg of soy bean okara and a desire to find an alternative solution to current applications which include biogas fuel, animal feed and worst of all, disposal, for a material which carries a high nutritional value. The question raised was how could we better use this material which is produced world-wide in excess of 3,000,000 tonnes per year. The origins of our answer lie in Asian food culture, applying the fermentative power of the soybean tempeh mould Rhizopus oligosporus, used for centuries in the cuisine of many Pan-Asian countries. By treating and fermenting the okara in a process developed within the Berner Fachhochschule, we have successfully created a small range of okara-based food product formats that can be positioned in the meat-alternative market, displaying meat-like textures and an umami, savory flavor profile with a significant diversity for culinary application. As an alternative use for okara, some benefits include: reduced environmental burden, increased consumer choice in a rapidly growing vegan/vegetarian market, nutritionally as a product fibre and protein are in abundance, and finally there is potential to become a valued stakeholder in the soy processing supply chain. Thus, with the aid of Gebert Rüf Stiftung, the project goal is to further develop the concept and processes in their entireties and to subsequently initiate production at a small-scale commercial level.
What is special about the project?
The okara treatment and fermentation process developed is an exciting new alternative to current methods. The innovation itself surrounds imaginative use of already existing technologies and fermentation techniques. Fermentation is where the magic happens, the transformative powers of Rhizopus growth convert the okara from a fibrous, often gritty material into a flavoursome, textured, meat-like product with a wonderfully elegant simplicity. The potential for entry into the Swiss and European vegan/vegetarian/flexitarian markets is huge, though considering world-wide okara output, widespread implementation of our processes could impact hugely to reduce okara disposal whilst indirectly reducing the consumption of animal produce.
Upscale of Material Preparation Processes – significant progress made with regards to raw material processing and understanding of how the material must be handled at bulk scale. Equipment capable of executing several functions in one process to be trialed mid-February 2020.
Upscale of Substrate Treatment Processes – concept of necessary process upgrades defined, trialing and testing with equipment planned to begin mid-February 2020. Application of a new lab scale combined-treatment method to be explored during trialing.
Upscaling and Stabilization of Fermentation Processes – successful reproduction of earlier product concepts including the burger patty and chunk formats. Scaling tests taking place March 2020.
Business, Funding and Customer Development – development of business plan and model underway, supported by key processing information generated during the above upscaling trials. Aim to present product to several companies by April 2020.
None so far
Persons involved in the project
Last update to this project presentation 12.03.2020