Spanning six years and with a six-million euro budget, ScenoProt will look at developing and marketing potential protein sources from insects, mushrooms and processed raw vegetable materials.
“The bulk of the protein on our plates originates in Brazil, because the protein fodder consumed by food-producing animals consists mostly of soy grown there. If the vision proposed by the ScenoProt project (…) becomes reality, by 2030 our food production will no longer be dependent on a handful of large Brazilian companies,” says a statement made by coordinating body, the Luke Natural Resources Institute of Finland.
According to principal research scientist at Luke, Anne Pihlanto, Finland currently is less than 20% self-sufficient in protein production – the aim is to bring that figure up to 60% and to encourage similar changes across Europe.
A multi-disciplinary approach
By involving not only scientists but also consumer research companies, the project’s results will be able to make the jump from theories on paper to products on shelves.
Finnish consumer insight company, Makery, is there to prepare the terrain for companies wishing to invest.
Head of product management and sales at Makery, Antti Isokangas, told FoodNavigator: “The aim is to deliver information about market potential to the industry so that they can make the decisions. We’re developing prototypes rather than fully marketable, finalised recipes for products [by] providing consumer feedback.”
Consumer behaviour, primary production capabilities, distribution channels and regulatory issues will all be taken into account in order to appeal to a broad range of companies in the food industry.
Global ideas for a global problem
And although based in Finland and looking at Finnish consumer attitudes, Isokangassaid says that a lot of the findings will be applicable anywhere.
“ScenoProt will not focus on promoting Finnish products or their marketing per se. If they export from Finland we think it’s good. If they decide to produce new products only for the local markets, that is great as well.
“In the end, the aim of ScenoProt as a whole is to tackle global issues of food security that are affected by local actions all around the world and at the same time provide tools for Finnish companies to be part of it, whether it be local or global business.”
Other partners will include the universities of Helsinki, Jyväskylä and Turku, and Dutch industry sustainability organisation TNO.
ScenoProt is funded by the Academy of Finland.