Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Partners sought in project to pioneer plant-based alternatives to egg ingredients

Palsgaard and Aarhus University are inviting food manufacturers to collaborate on a project to develop new plant-based replacements for egg ingredients.

The €5 million PIER (“Plant-based food ingredients to be egg replacers”) project aims to replace 10% of the eggs used globally as ingredients in food products such as baked goods, dressings, desserts and ready meals.

Food manufacturers now have the opportunity to become frontrunners on the scheme, which is designed to cut recipe costs at the same time as reducing carbon footprint. The focus is on bringing in manufacturers that are currently using significant volumes of egg and egg powders in their products and have a strategic ambition to reduce their reliance on fresh and dried eggs.

By taking part, companies will be able to co-create with the other project members and secure priority access to the new ingredients for their own products.

Claus Hviid Christensen, Chief Executive Officer of Nexus, Palsgaard’s specialised R&D sister company, said: “The PIER project represents an exciting opportunity to drive positive change by developing more cost-effective, climate-friendly ingredients. We’re looking to bring in partners from the food industry who are ready to co-create with us, testing their existing recipes and developing new recipes using solutions that are not yet available on the market. By securing first-mover advantage on next-generation egg replacements, the successful applicants will get a big head start in being able to cut their costs and their carbon footprint.”

Sustainability is a key driver for the project, with the CO2 emissions from the global annual consumption of eggs equivalent to three times that of all container ship traffic. It is estimated that 12% of those eggs are used as ingredients in food products to provide functionality such as texture and volume by foaming, gelling and emulsifying.

Emulsifier and stabilizer specialist Palsgaard is working with Nexus and Aarhus University to devise plant-based solutions that can replace 10% of the eggs used globally as ingredients. This would be equivalent to 100,000 tons of CO2 emissions, and the aim is to reduce emissions by 33%.

To achieve this goal, the plant-based alternatives must deliver on taste, sustainability and affordability as well as functionality.

Claus Hviid Christensen added: “Plant-based ingredients have enormous commercial potential as a replacement for eggs that can substantially lower carbon emissions. We may need to develop a range of solutions to meet different application requirements and we’ll also be exploring opportunities for partial egg replacement. We’re looking forward to hearing from manufacturers who are keen to join us in pioneering innovative new solutions.”

The PIER project has a total budget of 37 million Danish Kroner (approximately €5 million) and has received a grant of 23 million Danish Kroner (approximately €3 million) from Innovation Fund Denmark.

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