The FOODIO mentoring programme has been undertaken throughout 2018. It involved 40 undergraduate, master and doctoral students from four European universities. The participants had organised their projects in four working groups to solve a challenge: to develop new healthy tasty dairy products using the fibre obtained from plant-based side streams from the olive oil and fruit juice industry.
The groups presented their products in the final gala in Madrid on 12 December. The jury assessed the products' value from the point of view of innovation, the ability to transform an idea into a truly new food product and to have an impact on sustainability, society and the economy.
The winning product was Vousse, a kind of chocolate mousse that offers a delicious, sustainable plant-based dessert for health and environmental conscious consumers. Vousse is also suitable for vegans. Its health-related aspects are emphasised through the nutritional claims of “source of fibre” and “reduced sugar”.
The winning product was developed by Fispa Foods, a startup project of ten students, from three universities in Finland, Israel, and Spain: Sharon Abderhalden, Mohamad Azizkhani, Mamata Bhattarai, Pia Silventoinen, and Laura Toppinen from the University of Helsinki, Valeria Belochvostov, Lital Cohen, and Michael Faivush from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and Beatriz Fernandez and Maite Iriondo from Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain.
Fispa Food won a prize worth 2,000 euros donated by project partner Valio. Other contestants were a healthy cooking sauce Unisauce, a crispy and healthy snacking alternative Crispilicious and an innovative sustainable grilled cheese Cheezy Roll.