Rimfrost and Møreforskning, both located in Ålesund, Norway, collaborates in an ambitious 13 mill Euro multiparter EU Horizon Europe project aiming to make Europeans diets more sustainable and healthier.
“The project is strategically important for Rimfrost. Innovations and partnerships are vital for us to capitalize on the marked demands for sustainable proteins”, says SVP R&D Hallgeir Sterten in Rimfrost AS.
Protein is one of the three macronutrients in our diet and plays a critical role in human nutrition.
Different sources of dietary protein hold different qualities like solubility, digestibility, bioactivity and amino acid profiles that impacts the quality of our food, our health and well-being.
According to the EAT Lanced commission, sustainable dietary proteins needs to be carbon neutral, environmentally friendly, compliant with national dietary recommendations, safe and equitable.
Existing mainstream protein sources such as animal-based proteins or soy-based proteins are hampered with sustainability issues and new and more sustainable protein sources are needed. However, Europeans seeking alternative protein food products are faced with limited options. Also, many alternative protein products are simply not attractive to consumers due to unbalanced nutritional profile, off-flavours, and unpleasant textures in the final product. Moreover, food producers are often faced with supply and techno-economic issues when introducing novel protein sources.
To make a protein dietary shift possible, the food industry focus must be placed on diversifying the alternative protein sources (functional, sustainably sourced, abundant, scalable) & development of new appealing products (tasty, proper texture, few natural ingredients) – this way meeting consumer demands in terms of wider choice and product quality. In the project, 16 products with ingredients from 7 protein sources (sustainable, EU-based, of improved taste & texture) will be developed and tested, with a goal to make alternative proteins mainstream for all.
Krill protein hydrolysates have a huge potential to fulfil all the EAT Lancet commission requirements. Krill, with it’s origins in the clean waters of the Southern Ocean, feeding on phytoplankton, is highly nutritious.
Adding to this a sustainable fishery, gentle on-board hydrolysis of the Krill, the result is a unique protein source, rich in peptides, essential amino acids, bio actives, the powerful antioxidant astaxanthin and polyphenols. The carbon footprint is also lower than many conventional food protein sources.
In the project Rimfrost AS will work with optimisation of Krill hydrolysate extraction while Møreforskning will work on purification, fractionation, and downstream processes using the Krill hydrolysate as starting point. The goal is making consumer friendly and healthy Krill protein products for human consumption.
“Rimfrost AS and Møreforskning have collaborated successfully on Krill innovations in several projects, one of them being KrillSOFT, and we are very happy to continue our partnership in this project”, says project manager Miroslava Atanassova in Møreforskning and Inge Bruheim, VP R&D in Rimfrost AS.