Switzerland: New platform for alternative pro...
Switzerland

New platform for alternative proteins

IMAGO / Science Photo Library

SWITZERLAND, Kemptthal. Four Swiss food producers have founded the "Swiss Protein Association". The aim of the SPA is "to promote high-quality and competitive production of alternative protein sources". Migros Industrie is also a founding member. The company is currently building a pilot plant for cultured meat with industry partners.

The four Swiss food companies Bell Food Group, the Kündig Group, Migros Industrie and Planted Foods AG founded the new association "Swiss Protein Association (SPA) - Swiss Association for Alternative Protein Sources" on Monday this week. The new association is based in Bern.

According to the association, alternative protein sources are "proteins and protein-rich products, such as meat and dairy products, that do not come from traditional animal sources but are intended to contribute to a sustainable diet." A sustainable diet is environmentally friendly, healthy as well as economically viable and accessible to all.

The Swiss Protein Association wants to sensitise politics, business and consumers to the "potential of these products for a climate-friendly and sustainable diet and thus contribute to the future viability of the food system", according to the announcement on the founding of the association. The association sees itself as a contact and exchange platform in the rapidly growing sector.

New Innvovation Hub for Cultured Food

It is not only with the founding of the association that the topic of New Food and the development of alternative protein sources is gaining momentum in Switzerland. Through its own-brand production Migros Industrie, the trading group of the same name wants to play a pioneering role in this. Together with the two manufacturers Givaudan and Bühler, Migros has now founded an Innovation Hub in Kemptthal near Zurich "to drive forward the development and market share of products from cultivated agriculture", according to Migros.

This Cultured Food Innovation Hub will be a separate, independent company wholly owned by Givaudan, Bühler and Migros. The new company will "provide technology facilities and knowledge to support other companies on their journey into cultured meat, cultured fish and seafood and precision fermentation", Migros says.

The Cultured Food Innovation Hub will be equipped with a product development lab as well as cell culture and biofermentation capabilities "to best support start-ups in developing and launching the right product," Migros adds.

Division of tasks in the hub

The internationally active technology group Bühler Holding AG, headquartered in Uzwil, will contribute technological know-how to the new hub. Givaudan, on the other hand, is to contribute its "centuries of experience and knowledge in all aspects of taste to product development, "including all types of meat alternatives, as well as its in-depth expertise in biotechnology. Migros is responsible for customer business and market development. The combination of these three partners is remarkable, the Swiss write. The Cultured Food Innovation Hub is scheduled to go into operation in 2022.

Response to climate change and changing demand

The founding of the Swiss association and the new hub near Zurich are a response to the significant increase in demand for plant-based food worldwide in recent years. This has shown "that consumers care about the environment and demand healthy, ethical and sustainable food from producers", Migros says. In a world facing major challenges from climate change, with the population expected to grow to over 10 billion by 2050, "the need for sustainable food growing and sourcing is critical." Cellular agriculture for cultured meat offers the possibility of producing animal products without breeding animals.

Animal cells serve as the starting point. Technologies such as fermentation can then be used to grow meat products. The result is meat that is supposed to be identical to animal meat in both structure and taste. However, it has a significantly lower impact on the environment and does not require factory farming or slaughter, they add.

This text first appeared on www.lebensmittelzeitung.net.

Source: By Andreas Chwallek (LZ), lebensmittelzeitung.net, fleischwirtschaft.de / dfv Mediengruppe

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