Fermented fava: A ‘new ingredient’ to fuel next gen plant-based innovation?

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

Foodiq launches fermented fava / Pic: Foodiq
Foodiq launches fermented fava / Pic: Foodiq

Related tags fava beans plant-based

Nordic food innovator Foodiq has developed what it describes as a ‘new ingredient’ targeting plant-based products, fermented fava.

Foodiq claimed the ingredient, called Fabea+, offers a ‘more nutritious, sustainable, and saleable’ alternative to mainstream protein ingredients currently used in the plant-based market, including soy, pea and oats.

The Finnish company said that by fermenting fava beans through a ‘unique, industrial-scale production process’ it has developed a protein ingredient that is ‘able to take any shape and flavour desired’. 

Described as a ‘brand-new ingredient’, Foodiq said Fabea+ offers a ‘clean slate’ for the production of ‘virtually any plant-based product’. The company suggested Fabea+ - which is available as a powder or block – has no unwanted side flavours, is ‘incredibly malleable’ and offers ‘zero trade-offs’ when it comes to taste or texture. Fava beans are usually only used as isolates and concentrates, but this fermented powder form is new to the industry, while the use of fermentation as a process makes a ‘tasteless’ taste profile possible, the company revealed.

“We turned fermented fava beans into a Nordic magic powder able to upgrade your product to the next level, whether it’s dairy, grain, or meat. Thanks to our unique, industrial-scale manufacturing process, combined with natural fermentation, Fabea+ has a neutral taste and no odour. It is vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and suitable for FODMAP diet” explained Pasi Raito, Chief Business Officer at Foodiq.

The company claimed the powder is suitable for a range of end applications, including baked goods, dairy and pastas. Foodiq believes the ingredient will allow food producers to expand the appeal of plant-based products by improving existing formulations and developing new SKUs. This, it said, can help a category ‘currently experiencing growth problems;, with sales flatlining and brands struggling to stand out in an increasingly saturated market.

Fabea+ was showcased at Fi Europe trade show in December. Foodiq said the innovation was greeted with excitement among food industry professionals and shortlisted in the innovation prize category.

“We are happy about the amazing feedback Fabea+ received from the industry at the FI Europe fair. Fabea+ wasn’t born out of necessity but from a passion to simply make food better – to facilitate the pursuit of future-proof food products. We see a bright future for this Nordic magic powder” Raito concluded.

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