At the Oumph! (oumph.se) food stand with Fredrik Kämpenberg, company chef at Food for Progress (FFP) at Passion för Mat 2018, 2 to 4 March, Erikbergshallen, Gothenburg.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2018
Global food demand is expected to rise by 35% by 2030 . The demand in increased food supplies will need to come in the form of increased crop yields and/or a reduction in food waste. In view of keeping ecological balance with global nutrition needs in the upcoming deacades, there’s a general agreement that a transition from animal to plant-based protein supply is desirable [2-4], even if there is acknowledgement that the efficiency of the global food production system should not only be assessed as a function of the area of cultivated land but also in accordance to the amount of nutrients withdrawn and replaced from the soil .
The transition from animal to plant based protein and diets is neither convenient nor easy. The transition can be marked on both the technological and socio-cultural front. Animal-derived products tend to rank more flavourful to the human palate than plant-derived products because plant-derived products, due to its biological composition tend to contain more carbohydrates and other components that influence its taste, texture and nutritional profile. On the technological front, the evolving shift from animal to plant based diets has had the effect of an increase in interest in dry fractionation methods, a food science technique in how best to extract flavour and nutrients from plant-based sources . A related increase in interest has also been noted for the production and use of plant-based polymers that are recyclable for food packaging . On the socio-cultural front, getting masses of people excited about soya protein products, when the more well-known soya products are toufu and tempeh, can indeed prove a challenging task.
Yet, challenging the current animal based food paradigm and driving that shift in ideology of food consumption is exactly the task taken upon by Food for Progress and its food brands Oumph! and Beat. The Oumph! brand produces a range of soya protein products designed to fry, grill, steak and bake to make the most mouth-watering (American) sliders. The Beat brand takes raw beans as product to food concept. Beat makes beans more consumption accessible, productifying organic Swedish fava beans and kidney beans for example in a ready to heat and serve package.
Registered in 2015 as a company, Food for Progress Scandinavia AB is currently active in the Nordic countries, as well as in the UK. Products from Food for Progress is created at the intersection of food science and technology, in collaboration with social institutions as actors in both private and public sectors. The company has hit several milestones, receiving recognition awards for their products. In Jan. 2018, Oumph! received the Foodservice Product of the Year at NorgesGruppen’s and Asko’s annual customer and supplier meeting in Norway . In Feb. 2018, Oumph! announced that it has been shortlisted for two products in two different categories (Innovations category and Veggie Ready Meals category) in the FreeFrom Food Awards 2018 in the UK .
The company works towards ecological circularity in its business model. Its brief Q&A section on its website (foodforprogress.com) currently addresses critical questions on organic produce as well as calculating the socio-economic and environmental trade-offs between the different functions of soya protein production (whether mainly for animal feed or human consumption). Advances in food technology and its innovations are seen as an evolution towards greater sustainable living, with the globe seen as a single resource for a single people.
Enticing foodfair visitors with BBQ sauce pan-steaked Oumph! placed on chips that call to mind Superbowl finger foods, Food for Progress and Oumph! is a company that quintessentially reflects the sustainable flavours theme that resonates with Passion för Mat 2018. Currently headquartered at Mjölby, Sweden, it is not difficult to envision Oumph! taking on a larger global market food share currently occupied by grilled meats and steaks.
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