Healthy Fast Food

Consumer preferences for healthier choices has created robust demand for healthy, plant-based products, while urbanization and lifestyle changes drive out-of home eating. So far we have only had meat-centered fast food chains – chicken, burgers, fish-based sushi... We can create a menu around sunflower-based ingredients, and protect the formulations using PLANETARIANS’ patent-pending applications for defatted seeds as an ingredient.

Open Pilot Proposal

PROBLEM:

Consumer preferences for healthier choices have created robust demand for healthy, plant-based products, while urbanization and lifestyle changes drive out-of-home eating. As well, food-service companies want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

OPPORTUNITY:

So far we have only had meat-centered fast food chains – chicken, burgers, fish-based sushi... What if we were to make the first plant-centered chain using defatted seeds as ingredients?!

  • Defatted sunflower seeds contain 35% protein by weight, > 26% in beef > 22% in bean/chickpea flour and >20% in up-cycled spent grain flour,
  • Defatted sunflower seeds have 18% fiber by weight,  > 2.4% in apple
  • Protein from defatted sunflower seeds costs $1.6/kg, < $4.9 from Soy < $7.8 from Pea
  • Plant-based ingredients emit 10-100 times less greenhouse gas than beef production emits
  • The current annual volume of defatted seeds is enough to feed 1.5B people

We can create a menu around Sunflower-based ingredients, and protect the formulations using PLANETARIANS’ patent-pending applications for defatted seeds as an ingredient.

PROPOSITION:

PLANETARIANS proposes to co-develop a range of key ingredients from defatted sunflower seeds for ongoing product formulations:

  • high-protein, high-fiber flour/dough for pancakes/tortilla/pizza crust
  • high-protein, high-fiber flour for pasta/noodles/dumplings
  • high-protein, high-fiber soup bases

We propose testing developed products in foodservice locations to measure sales velocity and repeated purchases, in order to justify the basis for a healthy fast food chain.

TECHNOLOGY DESCRIPTION:

Historically, defatted seeds have been used in animal feed as a way to utilize the by-products of oilseed crushing plants. Later, with the growth of demand for animal-based products, defatted seeds turned out to be a valuable source of animal feed. But animals are extremely inefficient tools to produce food.

From the initial calories in defatted seeds, humans get only 17% of that number of calories when we feed defatted seeds to poultry and then consume poultry. We get 9% of that total if we feed defatted seeds to pigs and then consume pork, and 3% (3!) of that total when we feed defatted seeds to cows, and then consume beef.

PLANETARIANS invented a method to re-purpose defatted seeds for human consumption, and filed a patent for the process and ingredients. PLANETARIANS’ patent application prohibits competitors from using defatted seeds in any food product for human consumption.

PLANETARIANS’ manufacturing process was tested and optimized at the University of Minnesota. The resulting product was certified for nutritional content by Medallion Labs.

Market tests of chips from up-cycled defatted sunflower seeds (with 3x more protein, 2x more fiber and 3x less fat per serving than typical potato chips) demonstrated 69% average month-to-month growth, totaling $37,000 in revenue during March-May 2018.

Using SunMeal as an ingredient from defatted sunflower seeds allows food manufacturers to turn regular food into superfood. SunMeal is allergen free and non-GMO, unlike soy-based proteins. SunMeal is 5x cheaper than pea protein, and is a good source of fiber.

METRICS:

Sales velocity compared to the regular menu, margins, and reduced carbon dioxide emissions from operations.

POTENTIAL IMPACT:

If we repurposed all of the defatted seeds wasted or fed to livestock, and made them available for human consumption, we could feed 1.5 billion people for an entire year, without growing any more crops than we already do.

TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM OPPORTUNITY:

Key ingredients developed from defatted sunflower seeds (flour) can become a technology platform for developing multiple recipes for use in food service, home, and in consumer-packaged products, all of which are protected by the patent-pending PCT applications.

These ingredients can trigger the development of more ingredients from the defatted seeds of other oily crops, such as canola, cotton seeds, etc. as well as other by-products of the food industry, and can be protected by the patent applications for ingredients.

Developed recipes can be customized to local taste profiles to expand the fast-food chain to every country where Griffith is present today.

RISKS:

Defatted seeds have a dense texture due to protein and fibrous content, and a dark color.

BENEFITS:

  • Provides access to a new, sustainable source of healthy ingredients
  • Cuts costs for alternative proteins in current formulations
  • Reduces carbon emissions from foodservice operations
  • Creates shared value for collaborators and the Earth

RISK MITIGATION:

Lab tests show that replacing 30% of a product’s ingredients with defatted seeds doubles the protein and fiber content, while keeping costs and texture the same. Replacing 50% of the ingredients with defatted seeds triples the protein and fiber content, but requires additional work to ensure the texture is as desired.

About author: Aleh Manchuliantsau is a food developer at PLANETARIANS. He previously created and sold over 1 million bottles of nutritionally complete meals. Right now, Aleh is working on up-cycling food waste into tasty and healthy snacks. His goal? To feed a growing population without the need to grow more crops.

Aleh Manchuliantsau