Cereal foods already play a major role in the diet in most countries worldwide, as the main dietary source of energy, carbohydrate, dietary fibre, and plant-based protein. However, currently, less than half of the grains are used for human consumption. Changes in grain consumption and novel cereal protein-enriched food innovations could play a major role in transitioning towards a more sustainable food system for healthy diets, conclude Nordic researchers in a joint review published in Nutrition Reviews.
Keyword: Food Chemistry and Food Development
The food industry produces substantial amounts of side streams rich in valuable components such as proteins and fibers. Currently, most of these side streams are used as animal feed or end up as biowaste. The PROWASTE project, led by the the University of Turku developed effective and green processes for extracting proteins and fibers from brewer’s spent grain and canola press cake, two major side streams formed from food processing in Europe.
The time is now ripe for changes in the Finnish food system. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the universities of Helsinki, Turku and Eastern Finland, the Natural Resources Institute Finland, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, and the Finnish Food Safety Authority set the direction for food research, which aims is to make Finland a key player in the transition to a healthy and sustainable global food system. At the same time, new opportunities for economic growth are being created in Finland.
In 2018, the University of Turku received a donation from the Raisio Research Foundation worth of €500,000 for funding the first five years of the professorship in Food Development with special focus on Nordic foods and their health effects. The new professorship focuses on the study of the plants cultivated in Finland, supports the export of Finnish foods that are based on sustainable development, and promotes well-being by advancing the development of healthy foods.
According to consumer evaluations, quinoa as well as Andean and narrow-leaved lupins are well suited for smoothies and snack products. Researchers studied how crops with promising qualities, namely quinoa and lupin, can be used in sustainable food production.