Further progress in bioeconomy – the sustainable use of renewable natural
resources – requires the food industry to re-evaluate the way it uses raw
materials and to network with other industries. A sizeable portion of prime food
ingredients currently ends up as animal feed or landfill.
Sustainable use of renewable natural resources, and the manufacture of high
added value products such as food, forms the core task on the road to
bioeconomy. Changes relating to bioeconomy are given high priority in the
objectives of both Finland and Europe.
Bioeconomy concerns the birth of a future industry created out of biomass
processing. Resource efficiency, maximisation of value added, recycling, tight
integration with energy production, and a capacity for cross-sector innovation,
are all characteristic of the sector.
Bioeconomy presents a challenge to cross-technological cooperation within
industry. New kinds of value network will be generated through the blurring of
industry borders, with companies in the food industry intensifying their
cooperation with machinery manufacturers, chemical companies, energy and
logistics experts, and others.
General obesity and lifestyle diseases demand a re-evaluation of the raw
materials that make up food. A sizeable portion of prime food ingredients
currently ends up as animal feed or landfill. With food, we have learnt over
previous centuries to clean the raw materials of several of their constituents,
but in doing so have removed many that are vital for our health.
Food industry development work on new value chains, business models and
production processes forms part of VTT's Bioeconomy Transformation spearhead
programme. Research focuses on development of plant-based foods, new fibre-rich
products, biochemicals and packaging materials.