Biomass to feed the food factory of the future


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.

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