Finnish food tech company SuperGround is changing the way that fish can be used. Now companies can utilize SuperGround's technology to use more of a fish.
SuperGround Founder and Chief Inventor Santtu Vekkeli shares some insights into the background of this new food production technology.
Vekkeli says that SuperGround created this food production technology for technical and culinary reasons. ”It is perfect material for the process. SuperGround method works with hard tissues of fish with optimal efficiency[,] as they are relatively soft and have a lot of protein,” Vekkeli says. “Also, SuperGround mass made (from) fish hard tissues has excellent ‘fish broth’ taste.”
Vekkeli says there are other fish hard tissues — like salmon heads and cleaned fish bones — that are underutilized.
SuperGround first used this kind of technology to get more out of poultry products, according to a recent report by SuperGround. Vekkeli says that a consumer blind test study, as well as third-party company findings, reinforce the benefits of this food technology. “Mass can improve the taste and general desirability of traditional products,” Vekkeli says. “It has a lot of similarities with bone broths made from the same hard tissues. It just isn’t a liquid water solution, but a solid concentrated paste. In a way, the use of the mass is just another type of bone broth and has similar benefits in the taste profile of the products.”
Vekkeli says that SuperGround’s main market for this product is companies that have fish hard tissues in large amounts. “There is only a limited amount of traditional fish broth that can be cooked for the market, and other uses for this raw material have low value,” Vekkeli says. “Sometimes value of hard tissues, such as fish heads, is even negative.”
Vekkeli says that this food technology is also marketable to companies that can use the paste made from the fish hard tissues. “A good example of this kind of company is in the segment of food processors for HoReCa food components. Use of SuperGround mass from different hard tissues (and different fish species) allows them to use mass in multiple different products to improve them and cut raw material costs,” Vekkeli says. “(SuperGround) mass also allows larger amounts of total production of food material …]for example, up to 60% more freshwater perch products can be made from the same amount of caught fish.”
In its recent press release, SuperGround asserts that this technology increases the nutritional value of fish. “Processing of hard tissues of fish produces paste with high collagen content (up to 15%) and increases the amount of calcium. There are also benefits related to vitamin,” Vekkeli says. “Values differ significantly depending on the used fish raw material. Adding of SuperGround paste is definitely not ‘continuing the product by diluting its nutritional value,' but actually improving it.”
Looking to the future, Vekkeli says that SuperGround plans to improve its processing for poultry and fish hard tissues. Vekkeli notes that there are multiple prototypes for other kinds of underutilized materials. “There is so much more to be done to enable utilization of edible and nutritious raw material that would normally be discarded or used for biofuel and feed production,” Vekkeli says.
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