Polish biotech start-up produces zero-waste rapeseed protein in sustainability breakthrough

Last Updated : 27 October 2020
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    Brussels, 27 October 2020 - Poland-based NapiFeryn BioTech’s new technology allows oilseed processing companies to recycle the material left over after pressing oil from rapeseed, turning it into a fine powdered protein. With its neutral taste and flexible structure, it represents a viable alternative to other protein sources in the future. EIT Food funded FutureKitchen showcases this technology in its latest VR video, as part of an infotainment series involving young people in a dialogue about food tech and innovation.

    Future Kitchen rapeseed protein

    Magdalena Kozłowska, CEO of NapiFeryn BioTech, expects that rapeseed protein will be available on the market as early as 2022: “We need this time to adapt the technological process to industrial requirements. Then, our customers will be able to broaden the range of their products - using a crop that is locally grown. We currently have pre-commercial samples available for the Early Market Adopters."

    Whereas rapeseed intense and bitter taste always limited its adoption, NapiFeryn’s patented technology is able to purify protein from anti-nutritional factors, removing the bitter taste and forming stable emulsions with oils. At the same time, this protein has favourable organoleptic properties – it has neutral flavour, smell and colour, making it an ideal candidate for oilseed processing companies to adapt the new technology in their businesses.

    Growing demand for sustainable protein

    With a world population that is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, it is key to innovate our food systems. NapiFeryn’s innovation uses a plant that is already widely grown around the globe. All of the protein contained in rapeseed (which is 20% of the cake) can be isolated in its natural, undamaged form. It is also a safe ingredient for allergy prone individuals, making it an alternative to other common but less sustainable protein sources.

    Using the material that is currently mostly used as animal feed as food, NapiFeryn estimates that it is possible to provide nutrition to additional 3.5 billion people.

    Infotainment on food tech inspires to learn

    The video is part of the FutureKitchen project that engages especially a young audience in a conversation about food tech by making them, via VR, an on-site viewer of how food science, technology and innovation can advance sustainability. VR can adapt to diverse learning styles and has higher retention rates than traditional learning. The videos aim to make people curious, reflect on our food systems or even consider careers in food tech.

    Justine Vanhalst, project manager of FutureKitchen at Matís, said: “Even if someone does not own expensive VR goggles, they can experience VR on the mobile phone while turning around, on the laptop (navigating with the curser) or via inexpensive cardboard VR goggles. It’s easier than people think! “.

    The series continues to launch videos on FoodUnfolded in 2020, covering for example zero-waste mycoprotein or Michelin-Starred chefs printing food in 3D.


    Press Contacts

    Justine Vanhalst
    Project lead contact – FutureKitchen Virtual Reality Series
    Matís ltd. - Icelandic Food and Biotech R&D

    Marie-Christine Thurm
    EU Collaborative Projects Manager – FutureKitchen Virtual Reality Series
    EUFIC – European Food Information Council

    Davide Carrino
    Media & Corporate Communication Area Lead
    EUFIC – European Food Information Council



    The FutureKitchen Series is an EIT Food project, launched on FoodUnfolded in 2019. In 2020, it sets out to further encourage and inspire a food system connection, increased consumer trust, and greater interest in food careers.

    More info about rapeseed and the benefits of protein

    The latest FutureKitchen Virtual Reality video gives a 360° view on this technology - from rapeseed field to the lab to the end products.

    The infographic Plant-based protein sources for vegans and vegetarians and the article What Are Proteins and What Is Their Function in the Body?, created by the FutureKitchen partner EUFIC, provide additional insights on protein and its benefits.

    About Food Unfolded

    FoodUnfolded, powered by EIT Food, is a global, digital platform that creates and shares original content on the latest food and agricultural innovations. It aims to connect the general public through entertainment and education on the most relevant topics of today, including health, nutrition and sustainability. 

    About EIT Food

    This activity has received funding from EIT Food, the innovation community on Food of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

    EIT Food is Europe’s leading food innovation initiative, with the aim of creating a sustainable and future-proof food sector. The initiative is made up of a consortium of key industry players, startups, research centers and universities from across Europe. It is one of six Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC) established by the European Institute for Innovation & Technology (EIT), an independent EU body set up in 2008 to promote innovation and entrepreneurship across Europe.

    Consortium Partners

    European Food Information Council
    University of Cambridge
    IMDEA Food Institute
    Natural Machines
    NapiFeryn BioTech