Tetra Pak and Lund University unveil research hub for bioprocessing food and material production
18 Oct 2023 — Tetra Pak and Lund University, Sweden, have launched “Biotech Heights,” a research hub exploring the potential of bioprocessing technologies in food and materials production. Biotech Heights will serve as an “open innovation environment,” offering participating organizations access to state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment for academic and commercial purposes.
Bioprocessing involves creating products from living cells or their components. It is viewed as a promising avenue for addressing some pressing challenges related to food production and sustainability.
Tetra Pak details that with over one-third of global GHG emissions attributed to current food production and processing methods, innovation in food sources is essential to sustainably feed a rapidly growing global population without further straining agriculture. The collaboration will focus on overcoming the technological hurdles and challenges related to scalability.
This initiative combines Tetra Pak’s experience supporting F&B brands with Lund University’s research capabilities to address the challenges of producers, brands and manufacturers operating in sustainable food and materials production.
“Today’s food systems are not fit for purpose, and collaboration across business and academia is crucial to provide new solutions to food systems transformation,” says Charles Brand, executive vice president for Processing Solutions & Equipment at Tetra Pak.
“Tetra Pak and Lund University share a common goal of developing technology that contributes toward a more sustainable future. We look forward to taking our decades-long partnership to the next level. With Biotech Heights, we can provide a safe space for customers and collaboration partners to trial solutions to the multi-faceted scalability challenge.”
Biotech Heights will encompass cross-disciplinary research in marketing strategies, consumer behavior and emerging trends to better understand consumer perception and branding.Scaling food innovations
The recent Tetra Pak Index 2023 revealed that 48% of global consumers believe that technological innovation is crucial for providing healthy food and drinks in the future. However, 46% view food innovation as risky and express concerns about the health implications of these innovations.
According to the company, this indicates that scaling new food innovations extends beyond technology and into consumer acceptance and education.
Biotech Heights will encompass cross-disciplinary research in marketing strategies, consumer behavior and emerging trends to better understand consumer perception and branding. Additionally, it will address the technical obstacles facing alternative protein producers.
Annika Olsson, dean of Lund University Faculty of Engineering, expresses the significance of industry-academia collaborations in building a sustainable society: “Lund University’s research mission in this area revolves around the exploration and advancement of scalable biotechnology, which we see as a transformative tool to building a more sustainable society.”
“However, none of this is possible without collaborating with key industry partners like Tetra Pak. By bringing together experts from academia and industry with infrastructure from diverse fields, we can foster state-of-the-art advancements and drive positive change on a much larger scale.”
Micael Simonsson, director of Processing Development and Biotechnology at Tetra Pak, adds: “We see this partnership with Lund University as one major step to delivering new food innovations that can support this goal. We are also open to additional avenues of research and invite new collaborators to join us on this journey.”
Edited by Radhika Sikaria
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