Sunflower chips to feed the future
When I was a kid - I had a dream - eat chips whenever I want… That time did not know that my desire can lead me to feed growing population, reduce the impact on the planet and combat diet-related diseases”- recalls Aleh Manchuliantsau, food scientist that works on upscaling food waste.
You know that 40% of the food wasted by consumers. But do you know, that before you start even thinking of wasting food, the manufacturer already dumped more than half of it?
"Imagine our fascination when we stumbled upon ingredients disregarded by the food industry (they fed it to the cows!) and still had 35 percent protein," Aleh Manchuliantsau says, founder of PLANETARIANS. "That’s compared to the 26 percent protein we get from beef."
The ingredient? Oil cake—the dry matter left after oil extraction from crops such as sunflower seeds, cotton seeds, canola, etc.
The meal is the by-product of the oil extraction process. Oil is the majority value of the seed, and the meal is considered a by-product. Meal used as a livestock feed, primarily for ruminants.
And why is it wasted? The main nutrient in these oil cakes is insoluble fiber that cannot be chewed and digested by humans. It is hard like wood chips.
We thought, what if instead of protein isolation, we could break the fiber down?
We used steam explosion – an effect that occurs when overheated liquid exposed to the ambient environment, expands very fast and crushes everything in its path.
What we got - turned to be Sunflower chips - the first food product made from Sunflower meal as the primary ingredient. General Mills Medallion Lab verified nutrition facts. Now we know that our Sunflower chips are a food-grade product that we can commercially manufacture and sell.
Sunflower chips contain a comparable amount of protein as animal products: 20% protein when ground beef has only 17%, chicken nuggets 14%.
Compared to conventional, Sunflower chips have 3x more Protein, 2x more Fiber and 3x less Fat per serving than typical potato chips.
More and more people join Vegan movement to reduce the impact on the planet.
Generation Z uses snacks as the primary source of food.
Sunflower chips can help both and escape the side effects. Free from cholesterol plant protein reduces the risk of the cardiovascular disease. High fiber is very filling, good food for microbiome and reduces the risk of obesity and diet-related diseases. Baked, never fried chips minimize the risk of cancer.
Given the fact that we have enough oil cakes to feed another America, our calculations state that we can feed 1.5B extra people without the need to grow more crops. But this is another story...