The development of the SGen oat protein (sustainable generation protein) is the result of Fazer’s long-term research. The oat protein is made from okara, which is a side stream of oat drink production. In addition to protein, oat okara also contains many other good ingredients, and the innovation was driven by the desire to make use of this highly nutritious okara. In the past, okara has been used as animal feed and as raw material for biogas.
“Consumers increasingly ask for plant-based products with superior flavour, texture, and nutritional value. We are excited to offer this completely new, plant-based SGen oat protein to the food industry in Finland and internationally. We see great potential in utilising the oat protein in consumer products”, says Taija Felt, Commercial Director of Fazer Mills.
A protein supplement with superior oat ingredients
The SGen oat protein is fully plant-based. Its mild flavour makes it ideal for use as a protein supplement in cooking, and it is suitable for products like energy bars, cereals, plant-based gurts, recovery drinks, protein powders, meal replacements, and as an ingredient in meat substitutes.
“SGen oat protein is more than just protein – it also contains many other beneficial nutrients from oats, such as fibre, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and beta-glucan. Oat protein is a well-digested plant protein that, together with legumes, forms a complete protein composition. Oat protein also contains iron, a critical component in a plant-based diet,” says Marika Laaksonen, Senior Manager in Nutrition at Fazer.
Fazer is active in finding new food solutions
Sustainability is at the core of Fazer’s operations and strategy, and the company is committed to reducing food waste by 50 per cent by 2030. Fazer is also committed to expanding its range of plant-based products.
Earlier this year, Fazer launched the three-year Fazer Upcycled research and development programme, which aims to find new ways to reduce food waste and utilise side streams and surpluses. With this programme, Fazer takes an active role in developing sustainable ingredients for the food industry, which are produced by refining side streams.
In addition to its own research, Fazer is also involved in numerous national and international projects that study oats as a source of plant-based protein. VTT’s RETHINK project explores new, effective, and sustainable ways to produce plant proteins, mainly from oats and peas. Fazer is also involved in the international Giant Leaps project, which studies the health and environmental impacts of oats and several other plant-based and alternative protein sources, such as microbial proteins, and their suitability for manufacturing various products.