A step forward in sustainable food tech

3rd December 2020 | Eativity editors

The food tech industry is on the cusp of some major changes with the launch of sustainable textured vegetable protein (TVP) and a range of compostable packaging products. Zehnder Technologies is already producing high-quality TVP made from sunflower, while its compostable disposable packaging range is expected to be released in mid-2021.

Led by Josef Zehnder, former executive of Australia’s Byron Bay Cookie Company, the company is backed by his 30-plus years of experience in food manufacturing innovation and a number of experts in the food technology and business sectors. 

TVP is plant protein extruded in a process that creates a product close in texture to meat.

Zehnder says his products will reshape both the $1.5 trillion meat market and the $85 billion fast food packaging sector: “We are long overdue for a change to outdated meat alternatives such as soy, pea and wheat, whose production models haven’t improved since the 1970s,” he says. “Our technology enables this.

“Interestingly, it’s not the vegetarian or vegan market looking for new answers. Recent statistics show the majority of consumers looking for a drastic change are Generation X meat-eaters with serious concerns about their health and the environment. 

“The production of soy is extremely damaging to the environment, using up large areas of land mass and water, resulting in deforestation and existing on the market as a highly refined product. Our TVP products are made from sunflower, are firmer and more nutritious than most already in the market and have little to no difference in taste or texture than regular meat foodstuffs. We see this as a unique feature of our product.”

Botany Fields TVP is high in protein and low in carbs with a full amino acid profile.

The company’s TVP product, Botany Fields, will be launched this month and will be distributed across retail, food service and supermarket sectors. 

Zehnder’s packaging arm, ZehnPak, is finalising the commercialisation of its compostable disposable packaging. The technology aims to disrupt the global takeaway packaging market, and includes coffee and drinking cups, cutlery, plates and fresh food wrapping which can all be made at a lower cost than current packaging on the market.

“With an estimated 500 billion plus non-recyclable disposable packaging products choking waterways, landfill and oceans, we have a solution to change the way waste is disposed,” Zehnder says. “It can be composted and create new soil.”

The packaging doesn’t use chemicals, plastics or coatings and uses less water than recycled paper. It starts to break down within a week, leaving no residuals in the environment.

To find out more, head to zehndertech.com