Royal Avebe and UMCG receive 1.4 million euros for innovative research

CorporateInnovationNewsMonday, 04 Mar 2024

Royal Avebe, together with the UMCG, will receive more than 1.4 million euros in European funding from the Just Transition Fund (JTF). The grant is for the Fibers project, which focuses on the production of more sustainable and healthier (food) products based on starch. This potato starch is an important ingredient for plant-based foods, such as plant-based cream cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt. During the project, starch derivatives will be developed based on enzyme technology from CarbExplore Research and the parties will look at the positive effects on health.

Marc Laus, Technology Officer Product & Applications at Avebe: “We notice that more and more attention is being paid to food based on sustainable plant-based ingredients. It is important for Avebe to continue to innovate and become more sustainable. With the knowledge gained from the Fibers project, we can expand our green starch portfolio (Etenia™). And uniquely, we are looking at the positive health effects of these new starch derivatives on the stomach and intestines. We are therefore very pleased with the award from the JTF and the collaboration with UMCG and CarbExplore Research.”

Sustainable starch ingredients

Fibers stands for ‘Functional Ingredients by Enzymatic Redesign of Starch’. Within the project, Avebe’s potato starch is converted on the basis of enzyme technology from CarbExplore Research. This results in sustainable starch ingredients for plant-based food. Attention is paid to health benefits and texture. For example, vegetable cottage cheese that is low in fat, but has a rich and creamy taste. Subsequently, Prof. dr. Paul de Vos of the UMCG explains what health benefits there are.


The Just Transition Fund
The JTF, the ‘Just Energy Transition Fund’, is a European fund for territories most affected by the transition to a green economy. In this way, the European Union wants to reduce socio-economic inequality. The JTF stems from the European Green Deal, the program for a climate-neutral Europe by 2050. To achieve this transition in the Northern Netherlands, 330 million euros have been pledged until 2027.

The JTF has been developed by the provinces of Groningen, Drenthe and Fryslân, the municipality of Emmen and the Labour Market Table Northern Netherlands (a public collaboration between the three northern labour market regions – these are the municipality and UWV – and the three northern provinces). The Northern Netherlands Partnership (SNN) implements the JTF subsidies.