Meelunie believes fava will play a pivotal role in the protein transition. Helping meet the growing demand for plant-based proteins in ways that also address deforestation, inefficiencies in global agriculture, and other climate-related challenges.
The facility will open in October 2022, equipped with cutting-edge processing technology from SiccaDania, and employ a breakthrough process methodology developed by the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) following 17 years’ research.
“The UCPH breakthrough is two-fold,” explains Gijs van Elst, the project’s leader at Meelunie. “First, they’ve managed to remove the fava bean’s bitter taste, making it perfect for use in human food applications ranging from dairy and meat alternatives to sports nutrition and gluten-free products. And UCPH’s process is also more efficient, so we’re able to valorise the entire bean.”
Meelunie CEO Marco Heering sees this processing facility as a significant step forward. “The limited availability and suitability of local alternatives to soya has been a handbrake on the protein transition for some years. Because the fava bean thrives in non-tropical climates, such as Europe and North America, this facility can be a genuine gamechanger.”
The facility will be located near land ideally suited to cultivating fava beans and produce high-quality fava ingredients. Appropriately enough, the factory design is also climate-friendly. “Water used in the production process will be filtered and reused to create a circular system,” says Van Elst, “and we’ll capture heat generated in production for reuse in the local municipality’s heating system.”