SWITZERLAND – Switzerland-based multinational food packaging and processing company Tetra Pak has unveiled new partnerships aimed at accelerating efforts to address global food systems challenges.

The initiative is part of the company’s drive to nurture an innovation ecosystem to open new opportunities in the areas of food availability, safety, and sustainability. 

The collaboration includes a range of development programs – from exploring new food categories, such as plant-based food, to using enzymes that reduce food waste to advancing the insect protein movement.

Tetra Pak conducted over 300 screenings that resulted in more than 10 pilots, the company revealed. 

Some of the start-ups in the initiative include France’s Paris&Co innovation platforms, Smart Food Paris, and Urban Lab. Others are EnginZyme, NuCaps, and Tebrito.

With Sweden-based start-up EnginZyme, Tetra Pak is exploring ways to bring environmentally sustainable and economically sound nutrition and food waste solutions to the food and beverage industry. 

As a first project, the collaboration will be exploring transforming acid whey, a by-product from the manufacture of dairy foods like greek yogurt or cream cheese, into valuable ingredients that can go into healthy food products.

To support the advancement of the insect protein movement, Tetra Pak is working with Tebrito, a company focused on rearing insects – specifically locusts and mealworms – for food and feed.  

Tebrito has devised a “highly effective” process for converting insects into powdered protein, which could be an opportunity to circumvent cultural resistance to eating insects.

To further accelerate innovation, the aseptic packaging manufacturer is also partnering with the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE) in Italy and Sweden’s Lund University.

The move by Tetra Pak comes at a time when acute food insecurity has hit ‘new heights driven by disruptions to the global food supply chain.

The world is in a very different place compared to six years ago, when FAO committed to the goal of ending hunger, food insecurity, and all forms of malnutrition by 2030.

The company hopes that the new partnerships forged with external players will help bring forward new solutions that could help tackle challenges facing the global food system.

To drive innovation, we need to question the status quo and keep pushing our boundaries, working together with external partners who bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the table,” Rodrigo Godoi, VP of Processing Portfolio Management at Tetra Pak, explained. 

At Tetra Pak, we are continuously exploring new concepts, new food ingredients and new production methods that sit outside of our ‘core’ competencies.”

Food packaging plays a critical role in feeding the world – helping keep food safe, nutritious and available for people everywhere.

The company believes that well-designed processing technologies and packaging solutions are key enablers of innovation in food value chains and can make critical contributions toward the UN Food Systems Summit objectives.

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