Time flies so fast. It seems it was just yesterday!
I am super excited about entering the new season this month. Yeah, I have officially finished all the courses in Food Technology and Nutrition. This period is ended by our last project presentation under the Food Product Development course (equals to 15 credits or half of the thesis credits). This course is designated as a group project during the autumn period or one semester (one semester = 2 study periods). I would tell the journey of our product development.
In the beginning, the course coordinator announced the project topic: developing high protein beverages with no oat, no soy, no almond, and non-dairy ingredients. This theme is related to the current issue in the past years about the global shift towards a plant-based lifestyle among consumers. Sweden is classified as the second most vegan country in Europe and 1 out of 3 millennials has started buying more plant-based products in order to reduce the impact on the environment. It was challenging since we’re divided into four groups (8-9 members each), and we need to work collaboratively within one semester to create one innovative food product including the scientific approach, market analysis, manufacturer design, until cost-calculation.
After brainstorming and discussing within the groups and supervisors, we came up with the idea of utilizing locally grown lupin beans in Skåne and rescued banana from the Odd Season start-up company. Lupin bean is a highly nutritious legume that is a staple food in African and South American countries. Afterward, we did the pitching presentation to the audience from entrepreneurship students, teachers, and colleagues to get feedback and input. Then, we started doing the kitchen trial and some laboratory analysis, together with weekly supervisions, in-class lectures, and meetings. After approximately 4 months, we deliver the product to the judges together by report submission.
What is our product then?
We called our product as LUPO. The name LUPO is inspired both in the main ingredient, lupin beans, and in the Italian word for wolf (-Lupo), as even a heavy-meat eater like a wolf would prefer it over the non-vegan alternatives. LUPO is a high-protein, high-fiber, and high omega-3 plant-based beverage made from lupin that can work as a breakfast replacement. Proteins play a significant role in muscle building, muscle repairing and normal hormone functioning. Fibers are important when it comes to promoting a healthy gut, but they also increase the feeling of satiety. Omega-3 cannot be produced by the body, and their consumption is essential for optimal health and to maintain an active heart. The combination of banana and cinnamon-vanilla taste, together with all the goodness of all ingredients will create an incredible nutritional profile and goof acceptance among the Swedish market. LUPO: be one of the pack!