two cooks

Plant proteins as raw material and the related new world of taste and business potential

Food experts and researchers from the University of Turku and Helsinki, as well as Haaga-Helia and Laurea universities of applied sciences, are planning a project together with partners from Sichuan.  Idea is study plant proteins as a raw material and the related new taste world and business potential.

The background of the cooperation

The cooperation with Dujiangyan Hotel Howard Johnson already started a couple of years ago, when expert Nanna Rintala and professor Anu Hopia from the University of Turku used the Zoom platform for practical collaboration while preparing food together with Howard Johnson chefs. At that time, Anu and Nanna taught the hotel chefs how to make Karelian pies and the Chinese taught how to make delicious Mapo Tofu. Based on this experience, it was found that this kind of functional cooperation between experts would also work very well as a new form of research cooperation.  Sichuan Agricultural University SAU, Chengdu Technician College Dujiangyan Institute and Hotel Howard Johnson Conference Resort Chengdu are interested in continuing and expanding the cooperation.

Project plan

The planned project is divided into two parts, which are a) research and development of recipes and the world of flavors and b) business potential of different parts of the sustainable food chain. The University of Turku and Laurea University of Applied Sciences are interested in developing flavors and recipes. The interest is particularly focused on the preparation, cooking and seasoning of plant-based foods (especially plant proteins, meat analogues, tofu, etc.) and the application of knowledge to Finnish plant-based raw materials. The University of Helsinki and Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences are interested in business opportunities at different stages of the sustainable food chain. As part of the project, it is also planned to organize the first Finland-China webinar on sustainable food systems intended for companies and researchers. In addition, online courses on the sustainable food system are also a goal. Nanna Rintala from UTU and Esa Vuorenmaa, Jenni Pohjola and Xingqian Renqvist from Haaga-Helia UAS held a video conference with Sichuan University of Agriculture SAU at the beginning of February. SAU’s colleagues are now on vacation until the end of February, so we will continue planning the project together after that. The goal is to complete the plan during 2024.

More information about project planning: